Washington DC's fiercest architecture competition in years recently selected OMA and Olin to transform a concrete highway bridge over the Anacostia river into a vibrant, High-Line-style public park. The winning design concept for the 11th Street Bridge Park connects the two disjointed sides of the Anacostia river with a large "X"-shaped structure, which will feature an amphitheater, cafe, environmental centre, and performance spaces, along with accessible rooftop gardens on each of the buildings.
Over 40 architecture teams and 82 firms submitted designs to the 11th Street Bridge competition with the hope of transforming it into the next iconic metropolitan architecture project which revitalizes the urban fabric. OMA and Olin‘s winning proposal features plentiful gardens set alongside markets, playgrounds, and performances and exhibitions by local artists. Each bridge ramp terminates in a waterfall that reconnects the ramp to the river below. On the east ramp, an active water filtration system connected to the waterfall will help clean and restore the local environment.
Washington’s 11th Street Bridge Park will join the sides of the Anacostia River between Ward 6 and Anacostia, creating a new destination in the city. These two neighborhoods have been historically divided, but will now be connected. This integrative design intends to create a new civic space, which will support the city’s economic, environmental, and recreational development. Abandoned piers on each end of the river, as well as an aged-out freeway bridge, will be revitalized to connect both sides of the water. The park takes ideas from other modern urban parks, such as the High Line in New York City, and re-contextualizes abandoned post-industrial space for public use.
OMA (Office For Metropolitan Architecture), the famous Dutch architecture firm founded by Rem Koolhaus, teamed up with landscape architecture firm Olin in preparation for this competition. They also worked with Arup engineering and a host of other local and global design firms to bring together this winning design.
The winning design was announced in October and was chosen unanimously by the competition jury, as well as through the majority of public opinion polls. At the moment, the budget for the park is set at $45 million, with funding coming from the D.C. government and the nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River. Ideally, the park will open in 2018.