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OMA, OLIN design unanimously chosen for D.C. elevated park

The park will be High Line-esque, located on the dilapidated freeway over the Anacostia River.

October 17, 2014 |

OMA and OLIN's design has been unanimously chosen as the winner in the competition to design Washington, D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park. The park will be High Line-esque, located on the dilapidated freeway over the Anacostia River.

In the design, the ends of the bridge are pulled upward to form an "X" shape. It allows ample room for add-ons such as a cafe and performance space, in addition to open space for plazas, lawns, and urban agriculture plots. The public space is meant to turn the bridge into a destination spot for those living in Washington, D.C. 

“Our design creates a literal intersection and a dynamic, multi-layered amenity for both sides of the river,” explained OMA Partner-in-Charge Jason Long. “It simultaneously functions as a gateway to both sides of the river, a lookout point with expansive views, a canopy that can shelter programs, and a public plaza where the two paths meet. The resulting form of the bridge creates an iconic encounter, an 'X' instantly recognizable within the capital’s tradition of civic spaces.”

This design was chosen unanimously by the jury, but also received the most votes in a public opinion poll of all submitted designs; it even got the highest marks from the competition's Design Oversight Committee, composed of local stakeholders.

“The OMA + OLIN concept is simply brilliant in the way they captured ideas we heard from residents on both sides of the river and from across the city,” said 11th Street Bridge Park Director Scott Kratz. “These thoughtful designers—some of the best architects and landscape architects in the world—have taken community driven ideas and created a compelling new space that will connect two historically divided parts of the city while adding a new shape to the capital’s iconic monuments.”

Now that the design has been selected, money must be raised to fund the park's construction. A capital campaign has been launched to match funds already contributed by public and private donors, including the D.C. government, which amount to $15.5 million.


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