9 February 2010

Smithsonian’s Kogod Courtyard Wins Tucker Design Award

The Building Stone Institute announced that the prestigious Tucker Design Award was awarded to the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. The award-winning Courtyard was designed by landscape architects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, within an architectural renovation by Foster + Partners architects.  By incorporating granite and marble as key design elements, the design team successfully designed a contemporary steel and glass enclosure while preserving the historic fabric and character.


Housed in a National Historic Landmark Building, the Kogod Courtyard is an interior courtyard which has been enclosed by a glass canopy designed by Foster + Partners, creating one of the largest public event spaces in Washington, DC. The Courtyard features innovative stone detailing and use of domestic and historic stone. Given the historical significance of the building, the landscape design for the Courtyard acts as the link between the historic building and the new roof. The design balances a formal relationship between courtyard, building, and roof, with a dynamic east-west composition of long, rectangular marble planters and a scrim of water which is allowed to traverse the entire length of the courtyard, underlining the dynamic sense of motion in the composition. The design creates a contemporary complement to the new roof, while reflecting the character and spirit of the historic building. The design features the use of Imperial Danby Marble, Cold Spring Black Granite, and Mesabi Black Granite supplied and fabricated by Cold Spring Granite.


Since its inception in 1977, the Tucker Design Award has been recognized as one of the most prestigious architectural design awards in the country. The award honors those who have achieved excellence in design through the incorporation and use of natural stone in their building or landscape project.

Visit Design Ideas to learn more about the Smithsonian’s Kogod Courtyard