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This article counts 256 words.
Key words: Promenade. Integral street. Grass mound.


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F.D.R. Memorial competition.
by Robert Venturi, John Rauch, George Patton and Nicholas Gianopulos


Design description:

This is a directional earth form that constrasts and thereby enhances the white sculptural forms of the three mayor Washington memorials already existing in the neighborhood.

It is not a fourth sculptural form next to a parking lot. It is several things at once: an open, white marble promenade along the Potomac, which recognizes and utilizes the rive's edge for pedestrians; an integral street, which accommodates the visitors' parking and is enclosed by canyon-like walls contrasting with the open avenues around; and, on the other side, it is a green grass mound which is a background for the cherry trees on the basin.

The complex curve of the vertical section on the riverside accommodates a multiplicity of ramps, stairs, and passages, and a surface in bas-relief, which is interesting close-up -yet by its extreme continuity, suggested and actual, this curve contributes a scale appropiately monumental and visible from a distance. On the other side the continous curve in section accommodates varying materials -grass, ground cover, vine, and concrete cap, in sequence and in relation to the varyin degrees of the slope.

A variety of spaces in afforded by the sequence of open park: tight vehicular canyon, close pedestrian passage, and open directional promenade, in turn relieved by details like trees and benches, and at the middle, on axis with the Washington obelisk, by a vision-slit spaned by a little vehicular bridge.

Web Architecture Magazine, Issue 02. All rights reserved