Will Planet Word speak to you? Literally, yes.

Planet Word, the new language museum taking over D.C.’s historic Franklin School, will feature a talking tree.

The project team, which has faced numerous questions of late for demo work it allowed to occur inside the heavily protected, D.C.-owned building, will be back before the National Capital Planning Commission in March for a review of proposed improvements outside.

Planet Word was approved by the NCPC in late 2017, but the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, along with the project team — philanthropist Ann Friedman and architect Beyer Blinder Belle, among them — were asked to return later with plans for the patio and entrance gates.

The highlight of those changes is the “speaking willow,” described in the NCPC package as “a sculptural metal tree with speakers hanging from the branches. As people approach the tree, the speakers are activated to murmur various languages from around the world.”

The tree, centered within the museum’s entrance plaza,…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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