Final Design Concepts for 11th Street Bridge Park – DC’s first elevated park


From a press release:

“As part of a six month nationwide design competition, the 11th Street Bridge Park is excited to receive design concepts from four nationally recognized design teams. Landscape architects, architects and structural engineers have spent the summer envisioning Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park on the foundations of an old freeway bridge spanning the Anacostia River. The design proposals will be on exhibition and the public is invited to share feedback.

Informed by hundreds of community meetings with 11th Street Bridge Park staff, four design teams were tasked with creating an iconic new civic space supporting the community’s environmental, economic, cultural and physical health. These four teams were selected by the Bridge Park’s Jury of national experts for their creativity, energy and vision from more than 80 firms who responded to an open call for submissions launched in March, 2014.

The teams are:

Anacostia Crossing -Navy Yard View - OMA + OLIN

Bridge park BA CRP rendering 02
Balmori Associates : Cooper, Robertson & Partners

On Cafe Base
Stoss Landscape Urbanism : Höweler + Yoon Architecture

WRT+NEXT Anacostia Promenade
Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) : NEXT Architects : Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Over the next month, the public is invited to review the design renderings and share feedback. Participants can take a short survey that will be shared with the Competition Jury as they select the final winning design. The four design concepts will be exhibited at the following venues across the city and available online with the goal of reaching the widest possible audience:

On View From September 14 – October 11, 2014
THEARC Gallery – 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20020

On View From September 24 – October 11, 2014
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum – 1901 Fort Place SE, Washington D.C. 20020
District Architecture Center – 421 7th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20004

The public is invited to observe the design team presentations to the Jury on Monday, September 29 and Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Representatives from each team will describe their concepts and engage in wide-ranging discussions with the Jury at this FREE event held at theater of THEARC, located at 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.

Monday September 29th
1:00 – 2:30 pm Balmori Associates / Cooper Robertson & Partners
3:00 – 4:30 pm Stoss Landscape Urbanism / Höweler+Yoon Architecture

Tuesday, September 30th
8:30 – 10:00 am Wallace Roberts Todd (WRT) / NEXT Architects
10:30 am – 12:00 pm OMA / OLIN

The Bridge Park’s Jury is made up of noted experts in 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, 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 (Portland, OR)
• 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, 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 process.


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 essays describing their design methodology. Jury selected six landscape architect / architect teams to assemble larger interdisciplinary teams including structural engineers, lighting designers and other experts for in-person interviews.
• Stage 2 – May, 2014. Jury selects four design teams to advance to the final stage. Each team is provided a $27,500 stipend to create full design renderings that will be juried and evaluated for cost and constructability.
• Stage 3 – September 29th and 30th, 2014. Jury meets to hear team presentations and select the final concept for the 11th Street Bridge Park which will be announced at press conference scheduled for the morning of October 16, 2014.

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 be a place unlike any other in Washington, D.C. – one that supports the community’s physical, environmental, cultural and economic health. Funding for the Bridge Park is provided by a $1 million pre-capital campaign from public and private donors. The DC City Government recently committed an additional $14.5 million toward the project, representing half of the expected construction cost.

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.”

27 Comment

  • Out-FREAKING-Standing!!! Love the one in NY. Hope the local artists in the area will use it to vend their unique wares like the one in NY. Awesome!!!

  • I think that the important thing is that the first rendering doesn’t show the shells rowing under the bridge, and is thus disqualified, for not recognizing this vital aspect of the urban riverscape. More generally, this park lacks a lot of the advantages that the High Line does. It’s a hike to get get there, there are no tourist spots nearby and it’s far for office workers to go to lunch, and there is no hotel where exhibitionists perform for gawking crowds. On the other hand, no one in DC ever went broke copycatting NYC. Be an interesting experiment.

  • These are all real interesting and I really want interesting, but I do worry about maintenance and safety. I hope those were part of the design considerations because sometimes architects skip the practical in the service of their “vision.”

    If the design has things that make maintenance more difficult and parts that might be unsafe leading to a park everyone complains about, any benefits this park may bring will not happen because no one goes.

  • All the renderings look beautiful. We can’t lose either way.

    Hilarious how there’s a guy in the third rendering staring at his phone. So realistic. Missing a gorgeous view to send a text. Ha.

    • Is that an ampitheater in the third one? That gets my vote. Partner with the Folger Library for some Shakespeare In The Park.

  • Anybody else concerned that its right next to the bridge for the highway? Seems like noise abatement may be a factor to consider in the design.

  • This looks really nice, but I have to think the money would be better spent first developing the North Capitol Overpass Park between Rhode Island and T street, on the border of Bloomingdale and Brookland.

    • Correction
      : Bloomingdale and Eckington.

    • Why would the money be better spent there? I live nearby, but I can see the potential in the 11th street bridge, where there is a potential for water access and higher density.

      • There really isn’t much of a pedestrian draw by the 11th street bridge and it’s far from given that this project will draw sufficient crowds all on its own.

  • Are you kidding me?! I love the designs, yes, they are incredible, but have we not learned yet that if we build it, it is not a given that they will come?! What’s wrong with some nice green space? Why do we spend millions because we think that people might possibly maybe potentially use the space, if the timing and temperature is right?! Otherwise it just becomes yet another open space for people to get held up while out on their evening job, albeit in a green space!

  • To educate you: the bridge is in constant use by joggers, bikers, peds walking to/from Anacostia (the park and/or neighborhood.) Barracks Row is nearby – a short walk if you want to eat in the park and then walk on the Navy Yard side to the game. OR – if you work at Navy Yard – another place to eat lunch. OR- if you care to explore the Anacostia Arts District – you can continue south across the bridge, it’s right there. So are more places to eat. OR – Metro to Anacostia station and walk or take the 90/92 bus. Or bike -all the same, it is very accessible.

    That being said – I hope they include a restroom because someone fairly regularly drops a deuce on the second pier.

  • The bridge is not directly connected to the Yards park, however it has potential to enliven the Anacostia riverwalk trail. And as others have pointed out, there’s lots of development going on nearby at Navy Yard and the Warf, so residences, workplaces and hotels are on the way.

  • The renderings look nice, but I can’t figure out why the hell anyone besides runners/bikers would ever want to use this park. It’s impossible to access from the VA side, and very difficult to access from the DC side. Wouldn’t it be better to improve the disgraceful National Mall or Hains Point first? DC isn’t lacking in open green space so there is no reason to build parks on inaccessible bridges.

  • WOW…. that lack of knowledge about our great city in the posting is amazing.

    * Not accessible from the DC side? – Both side are in DC – the city doesn’t end at the river.
    * Nothing in the area? – Huge neighborhoods on both sides of the river.
    * Not accessible from VA? The roadway will connect it, there are two Metro stations within walking distance, and the bike trails as well as the River Walk will all be ultimately connected – even to the other side by Georgetown…. Ohhhh Nooooo….
    * Office workers not using it? – Like they are the only ones in DC parks are built for.
    * No Tourist attractions close by ? The Nats Stadium, Navy Yard, the New Water Front by the Marina, Arena Stage, the Capitol, Anacostia Park, Marine Barracks, Historic SE, the Home of Fredrick Douglas along the way… Hello…

    This sounds like a lot of comments from people who live in NW and very rarely venture beyond that.

    Personally I think it looks spectacular. The 25 year growth plan of the city is set to see about a 20 to 25% increase in population, businesses, and tourists in the next 20 years. They will need somewhere to play.

    Not to mention, take a Metro over there folks. I know it is sooooo scary being so close to SE, but there is so much development going on, I suspect this park will be used so heavily in the coming years if not sooner future post will complain about it .

    Amazing. I can wait to see it finish.

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