The Bridge and the Treehouse

A Peace Corps Journey

Peace Corps Commemorative Design Competition
Washington, DC

Conceived as a physical manifestation of the individual’s spiritual journey, The Bridge maps out the pathway traversed by a Peace Corps volunteer. As an expression of American values, the opportunity to experience this journey is extended to any visitor.

The Path begins with a new crosswalk across Louisiana Avenue NW, connecting the site to the existing greenspace and path system of the Taft Memorial and the US Capitol Grounds.

Broad steps lead the traveler to the first of several terrain features, The Sunken Garden. As the first step of any Peace Corps volunteer, the experience emulates the departure from American shores for immersion into other cultures. Shaded by the bridge above, the Sunken Garden also functions as public gathering space allowing volunteers to share their experiences in impromptu or scheduled events while also allowing for stormwater biorention.

The gentle slope of the Mountain, curves up to the north corner of the site where the visitor reaches a clearing in the landscape, the Turning Point on the journey. The Path along the Mountain weaves its way through a landscaped collage of native species reflecting the diverse cultures in which the Peace Corps is active.

The Bridge springs from the Turning Point, with a glass floor as it crosses over the point of entry, allowing the traveler to greet those just beginning their journey on their way to the Treehouse.

Reaching the Treehouse, the traveler is oriented towards the National Mall, the ideal expression of American values, the Nation’s Front Yard. As the traveler exits the site they are pointed towards Union Station where they are prompted to continue the journey beyond the site.

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