President's Park South

President's Park South

This collaborative work with Louis Berger requires the sensitive integration of security requirements into a landscape of extraordinary cultural and historic significance. It combines the visual space of the White House with the Ellipse, reclaiming an essential place for public participation, both formal and informal. The Ellipse is subtly reinvented to address recreation, public promenading, environmental responsibility and security.

 

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The competition winning design defines the edge of the Ellipse by adding a seating wall with integrated pedestrian lighting, while subtly raising the grade of the Ellipse. This establishes a security feature, reinforces the Ellipse as an event space, and minimizes the visual appearance of adjacent parking. This bold, elegant move allows for a larger, unobstructed interior public area.

By redesigning the east and west Ellipse groves and strategically relocating perimeter security, the public realm along E Street is expanded and improved. The Ellipse groves create shaded areas to sit, play, or wait in line for events.

The design culminates in a new E Street terrace that joins the enhanced space of the Ellipse with the White House South Lawn. The terrace provides another prominent space for public gathering that symbolically joins the people with their President. The E Street Terrace offers unencumbered visual access between the Ellipse and the White House; it unites President’s Park South into a single enjoyable public space.