One of the secrets of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
, the contemporary art institution that’s part of the Smithsonian and housed in an iconic, doughnut-shaped building right on the National Mall, is that it has a hidden tunnel from the building to the gardens outside. That underground passage, designed by Gordon Bunshaft, has been closed for 30 years, but it will soon reopen as part of a sweeping plan by the photographer and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto
to modernize the gardens, giving the sculpture yard its first major redesign since the 1980s.
The museum announced on Monday that, following Sugimoto’s successful reimagining of the museum’s lobby, he will soon be taking on the outdoor part of the institution as well. Not only will the project open up the long-dormant tunnel that allows for another access point to the garden, it will provide more space for recent acquisitions of contemporary sculpture, and allow for more performance art outside of the Hirshhorn’s building.
In a statement, Dan Sallick, the chair of the Hirshhorn board, said: