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Illume Dupont

Washington, D.C.

Gensler's vision for Dupont Underground's architecture and design competition, "Re-Think Dupont," was selected as the winner among nearly 100 submissions from across 16 different countries. The design competition focuses on the redesign of Dupont Underground’s main entrance and Dupont Circle as a whole to foster stronger, more cohesive connections to the subterranean arts space below. Gensler's entry, Illume Dupont, is a series of built interventions around the iconic park that use light as a unifying element. It is comprised of two components: the macro-level “Halo” anchored at the Circle’s center and the micro-level “Portal” entry to Dupont Underground.

The Halo amplifies Dupont Circle’s role as a gathering space in Washington D.C., providing a simple element with a reflective surface that acts as a draw during the day — and enhances public safety through enhanced illumination at night. At the main entry portal to Dupont Underground, the arch's speakers produce sound artscapes, further connecting art and architecture across the senses. The forms are simple and universally understood, taking inspiration from the geometric expressions of land art and light and space movements. Ethereal light constructs act as powerful connectors that work at many scales, linking Dupont Underground with the community, the natural and built forms of the historic Circle, and the fabric of the larger city as a whole.