A gem under glass

Since its erection in 1932 at the foot of the Capitol building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Conservatory has maintained a rich collection of tropical, temperate and desert plants for public view. In 1992, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol began complete renovation plans for the entire building and exhibits, of which some 36,000 square feet is under glass.

The United States Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Steeped in history and rich with tradition, the USBG is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth’s fragile ecosystems.

Scope of work:
  • Interpretive masterplan
  • Conservatory
  • Special Exhibits
  • Interpretive Signage


RAS served as principal designer for the complete renovation of exhibits and collection displays within the Conservatory. The exhibits represented different types of natural and gardenesque themes.  RAS also prepared an Interpretive Master Plan that would provide a framework for development of exhibits and interpretive elements at the renovated Conservatory, the new National Garden, and Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens built in 1932.