((by Stephen Lederach))

Throughout the Mall, shade trees invite pedestrians and define spaces formally along the east-west axis and informally along the north-south axis. “Arcs of Shade” reforests the edges, walks and large areas of the Washington Monument grounds, keeps both axes open and preserves the Mall’s grand design vision. These tree-shaded areas include paved surfaces, benches, low plantings, drinking fountains, bathroom facilities and occasional refreshment stands.

To the west, a grand, tree-flanked water stairway ties the Lincoln reflecting pool and World War II Memorial into the Washington Monument grounds. Groves on the north emphasize the axis running between the White House and the Jefferson Memorial while creating a new urban park that includes interlaced walks, plazas, seating and concessions.

On the east side, putting 15th Street underground improves pedestrian safety while allowing the formal Mall trees to extend toward the Washington Monument, creating an attractive connection between the Mall’s greensward and the monument grounds. An underground visitors center with skylight views of the monument provides shelter. Finally, arriving at the monument base rewards the visitor with large bubbling fountains, creating a cooling platform with benches for enjoying the dramatic views.

Click here to learn more about this proposal. To vote, visit www.wamocompetition.org.

Links to the other finalists:

— “You and Me” by Jinwoo Lim.

— “Field of Stars” by Catherine Peek.

— “The People’s Forum” by Karolina Kawiaka.

— “Monument of Unity” by Jacques Prins, Kevin Battarbee and Egidijus Kasakaitis.

— “An Inclined Plane” by Julian Hunt, Lucrecia Laudi, Monling Lee and Miguel Angel Maldonado.