Washington, D.C, USA
2021 American Prize for Architecture laureate, Victor F. Trahan III of Trahan Architects and Reed Hilderbrand’s design recognizes the collection of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, which includes trees and viewing stones from Japan, China, North America, and other international locations, as one of the finest and most extensive in the world.
The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award Honorable Mention, by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Located within the Arboretum’s Core, the Museum is conceived as an immersive and cohesive garden experience, intended to evoke awe and wonder while also drawing connections to the larger Arboretum landscape.
The concept design organizes the Museum’s program around a central court, which orients the visitor to a network of paths that lead to the four exhibitions, expanded classrooms, and administrative services.
The exhibitions, conceived as gardens rather than buildings, blur their boundaries with the larger, surrounding garden to offer a continuing revelation of surprise and discovery.
Mixed species surround and frame the various exhibitions and the central court. The architecture is restrained and practical, deferring to the power of the bonsai.
Project: National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum Architects: Trahan Architects
Lead Architect: Victor F. Trahan, III
Landscape Architects: Reed Hilderbrand LLC.
Client: The National Bonsai Foundation (NBF)
Photographers: Renderings – Design Distill