Bridge Park for Washington, DC

After a seven-month nationwide competition, the design for Washington, DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park by OMA + OLIN was unanimously selected by the competition jury. The design team was asked to transform an aged-out freeway bridge into a one of a kind new civic space over the Anacostia River. The team’s design concept connects two historically disparate sides of the Anacostia River with a series of outdoor programmed spaces and active zones, including two sloped ramps that elevate visitors to maximized lookout points to landmarks in either direction. Each ramp terminates in a waterfall that reconnects the ramps to the river below. On the east side, the waterfall is linked to an active filtration system that in conjunction with new wetland areas adjacent to the bridge piers works to actively clear the river. To encourage visitors to the bridge and neighboring communities, the design includes amenities for comfort and refreshment and an open plaza for markets, festivals, and theatrical performances. The form of the bridge creates an iconic encounter, an “X” instantly recognizable as the river’s new image.

“The 11th Street Bridge project is a special precinct in the structure of the City” said competition Juror Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA, Professor of Urban Design and Dean Emeritus, Howard University. “It is at once both a crossing and place. In its purest role it is a hyphen that connects and celebrates the physical and cultural histories of two historic and vibrant Anacostia shoreline communities, while establishing a civic expression of democracy.”

Four final teams were selected by the Bridge Park’s Jury of national experts for their creativity, energy and vision from more than 80 firms who submitted proposals in March, 2014. The four final teams were: Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson & Partners; OLIN / OMA; Stoss Landscape Urbanism / Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) / NEXT Architects.

The 11th Street Bridge Park is a collaborative effort of the D.C. City Government and the Ward 8 based non-profit “Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC.”