11th Street Bridge Park Finalists Picked, Meet the Design Teams June 10th

11th Street Bridge Park
Rendering via 11th Street Bridge Park

From a press release:

“As part of an extraordinary nationwide design competition, the 11th Street Bridge Park is excited to announce four nationally recognized design teams have been selected to envision Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park on the foundation an old freeway bridge spanning the Anacostia River.

The public is invited on June 10 to meet the designers, who were selected by the Bridge Park’s Jury of national experts for their vision, comprehensive approach and creative energy. More than 40 teams, and 80 firms representing some of the most renowned designers in the nation, responded to an open call for submissions launched in March. Selecting the four teams furthers the goal of choosing a final design for the Bridge Park – an iconic new civic space that will provide a unique venue supporting the community’s environmental, economic, cultural and physical health.

The four teams, made up of landscape architects, architects and structural engineers, will each receive $25,000 to create full renderings and plans by September. The teams are:
• Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson & Partners / Guy Nordenson Associates
• OLIN / OMA / Arup
• Stoss Landscape Urbanism / Höweler + Yoon Architecture / Robert Silman Associates
• Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) / NEXT Architects / Magnusson Klemencic Associates
“We are thrilled with the selection of these four final teams and are excited to see their vision for this inspirational space” said Scott Kratz, 11th Street Bridge Park Director. “This is a major milestone for this project. The Jury was impressed by each team’s creative and thoughtful interdisciplinary approach. Washington D.C. was established as the nation’s first truly civic space and this new park continues in that tradition. ”

The public is invited to meet these design teams on Tuesday, June 10 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Representatives from each team will present examples of their work and describe their creative approach at this FREE event held at the theater on the THEARC campus, located at 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.

After receiving formal submissions from firms across the U.S. the 11th Street Bridge Park Jury interviewed six teams selecting these final four. The Jury represents the fields of landscape architecture, architecture, urban design, community engagement and public health and includes:

• Howard Frumkin, M.D., Dr.P.H. Dean, School of Public Health, University of Washington
• Toni L. Griffin, AIA, Founding Director of the J. Max Bond Center for the Just City, Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York
• Carol Mayer Reed, FASLA, Partner in Charge of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, Mayer/Reed
• Michaele Pride, AIA, NOMA, Associate Dean for Public Outreach and Engagement, School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico
• Harry Robinson III, FAIA, AICP, NOMA, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Urban Design, School of Architecture and Design, Howard University
• Patricia Zingsheim, AIA, CPM, Associate Director of Revitalization and Design, D.C. Office of Planning (Alternate Juror)

• Donald J. Stastny FAIA, FAICP, FCIP, Design Competition Advisor

Additionally, a Design Oversight Committee of experts from across the region representing the arts, environmental, design, recreation and health communities are providing pivotal feedback to the jury during the nine month-long process.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.bridgepark.org

Competition Fact Sheet
• Stage 1 – March, 2014. Call for entries open to United States based designers. Over eighty design firms representing forty-one teams submitted qualifications and essay describing their design methodology. Jury selected six landscape architect / architect teams to assemble interdisciplinary experts including a structural engineer, lighting designers and others for in-person interviews.
• Stage 2 – May, 2014. Jury selects four design teams to advance to the final stage. Each team is provided $25,000 stipend to create full design renderings that will be juried and evaluated for cost and constructability. Renderings will be displayed publicly in an exhibition at multiple locations, including the District Architecture Center, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and on the 11th Street Bridge Park’s website for public comment.
• Stage 3 – Mid-October, 2014. Jury selects the design team and concept design for the 11th Street Bridge Park.

About the 11th Street Bridge Park
As the old 11th Street river bridges that connect Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill and historic Anacostia neighborhoods are being replaced, the District government and a local nonprofit organization, Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC, will transform the aged infrastructure into the city’s first elevated park: a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts.

The 11th Street Bridge Park will span the capital’s cityscape – a soaring structure that will engage the local community and bring residents together from across the region. We are proposing to create a place unlike any other in Washington, D.C. – one that supports the community’s physical, environmental, cultural and economic health. To date, staff have secured over $840,000 as part of a larger $1 million pre-capital campaign goal. The DC City Government recently committed an additional $14.5 million toward the project representing half of the expected construction cost.

Additional support is provided by the Educational Foundation of American, the Horning Family Foundation, the Prince Charitable Trusts, LISC DC, the Fetzer Memorial Trust, Autodesk, Grosvenor, Forest City Washington, Urban Land Institute Washington, Urban Land Institute Foundation, Justice and Sustainability Associates, Industrial Bank, Irene and Alan Wurtzel, Nick and Gardiner Lapham, Pendragwn Productions, PRR, Goulston & Storrs, JBG, Susan Clampitt, David Schwarz, Melissa Hook, Anacostia Business Improvement District, 4Site and the Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters.

About Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC – The 11th Street Bridge Park is a project of the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), a $27 million, 110,000 square-foot campus located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8. The mission of THEARC is to improve the quality of life for residents of Washington D.C.’s East of the River community, a key goal of the future 11th Street Bridge Park. THEARC is a home away from home for the many underserved children and adults of East of the River, enabling them to participate in dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, academics, continuing education, mentoring, tutoring, recreation, medical and dental care, and other services at a substantially reduced cost or no cost at all. On-site non-profit partners include Washington Ballet, Levine School of Music, Children’s Medical Center and eight other organizations.”

20 Comment

  • Good luck to them, because it’s not going to be easy designing a space pleasant enough for people to actually want to use, on an old concrete freeway bridge next to swarms of traffic.

    • I might use this park because I work right next to it, and I like the idea of linking Capitol Hill and Historic Anacostia with a nice outdoor space. But the Capitol Hill side is really not pedestrian friendly at all. I walk to 12th and M every day, and often take my office shuttle just to get across the 11th and M intersection because it’s so dangerous. The construction that’s been going on for the past decade isn’t helping, but even when that goes away you still have two major roads and a bunch of highway ramps all intersecting at the same place. No one’s going to wander over to this from the Capitol Hill side, except maybe Navy Yard employees (and to be honest most of them race home to the suburbs at the crack of 3pm). They’re going to need something really great there to draw people to such a hard-to-access space.

  • I’m so excited they included Howard Frumkin on the jury. Awesome to have a public health person included!

  • Interesting. I had no clue this was in the works. I remember once running down that way after work. Ran along Navy Yard after most people had gone home and then up by the freeway to Barracks Row. Definitely thought I was going to get murdered and dumped into the river at a few points along that route. At least it made me keep a good pace.

    • was this ten years ago?

      • Must be. Although I do wish there was more pedestrian activity along the M Street corridor. I’ve never felt unsafe there though.

      • No, about 2. I ran along the water from Yards Park toward the 11th St bridge, not on M Street. It was just totally desolate. There was no one around and once I started running down that way, there was no where to turn up until I reached the bridge since there’s a security wall between the Navy Yard buildings and the path/docks. Then running along the overpass up to M wasn’t exactly pleasant either. Once I started seeing humans again, I was mostly fine.

        • The Navy Yard likes to close off that section of the boardwalk (you’re lucky it happened to be open when you went running). I think a lot of people are discouraged from using that part because you never know if it will be blocked off or not.
          Also, that area just isn’t residential. Even during the weekdays there aren’t a ton of people walking around because you have to walk past some unattractive stuff (construction sites, busy roads, underpasses, tall brick walls) just to get to anything useful like a CVS or a place to grab lunch. This is a problem for development, although crime is really low around there. It reminds me a lot of when I used to live near the Patent Office in Alexandria. Out of all the places I’ve lived I felt least safe walking around there because it was so deserted at night and on the weekends.

          • That said, I find the boardwalk very peaceful and pleasant precisely because it’s so quiet!

  • Is anyone confused by the picture they have been using? First of all this is DC – there is about 4-5 months out of the year where it would be comfortable to use outdoor spaces like this. Why not some sort of indoor hang out place, maybe a tower to get a nice cool view of the city? I could see myself going to this – just for the instagram! Having bike ammenities would be nice! Air pump station, places to lock up bikes securly. Water fountains, high climbing structure, rock wall….i dont think people would use any of those things…

    • You have a pretty low tolerance if you’re only spending time outside 4 months out of the year. Granted, this past winter was exceptionally long/snowy (but that’s true of half the country). In a normal year, you can enjoy outside April – November. Hell, I remember hanging out on a patio in shorts on St. Patrick’s Day two years ago.

  • They should just make this at McMillan park instead.

  • Elevated public parks on abandoned bridges are so much better in New York.

  • I have mixed feelings about this project. It’s an awesome idea indeed, but a very ambitious and very expensive one. Unlike the High Line in NYC, there is no existing structure on which to build (except for the pillars of an old bridge that no longer exists); so we are talking about a pretty major construction project. I agree with the person who posted that the close proximity to a busy and noisy road might be off-putting. But to disagree with another, it would be usable during all but the worst weather. Some of us actually enjoy being outdoors year-round, even in DC!

  • Including a streetcar in that rendering is cute. Like that’s gonna happen in any of our lifetimes.

    • I had the same thought. There is a reference to the projected Streetcar plan in the 11th St. Bridge project docs, but it feels like pie in the sky. That said, it’s a bit of a hike unless you live near 11th on the southern part of the Hill. Pretty accessible by bike. Don’t know if they’re planning for parking on the east side of 11th or near Anacostia Park.

      It’s going to be much smaller than the High Line by itself but should really be seen as an extension of other nearby riverside development

  • Comparisons to the High Line just invite ridicule. If you think there are deep parallels, you haven’t been to the High Line. I like the idea of building new pedestrian and bike bridges, but why put so much effort into a park on the bridge when you could really make the waterfront itself shine? Boat landings, piers, fields, trees, pavillions, etc. Someone drank too much kool aid and got a bit too excited about reusing infrastructure, which in this case amounts to a few stubby bridge footings…

    • True, this place will not be swarmed with tourists taking #highline selfies. Also, it may not be swarmed with anyone, because unlike the High Line, it’s not near much residential or retail (some office, but not much in comparison).

  • I guess they want to put a park in place ahead of selling the present riverfront property, known as the Anacostia Park, to developers. Putting this development strategy in place is what is probably holding up the development at St. Elizabeth’s as well. Poor Anacostia (no pun intended). Why isn’t this money going to develop the area around the once-planned National Security site at St. Elizabeth’s?

    The concrete pillars should be torn down, not developed. There is a park already in place.

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