With the I-395 overpass and expansive parking lots, Washington D.C.’s southwestern waterfront is more car-oriented than it is maritime. Because of this, the capital’s waterfront is missing out on the vibrancy of other cities by the water, such as Copenhagen, Venice, or Seattle.
The Wharf, a new wharf plan for the District, aims to change this scenario. The project, a team effort including the District of Columbia, Perkins Eastman  and developer Hoffman-Madison Marquette , will transform the car-dominated streets into a complex of “shared space.” Greater Greater Washington  reports that the street planning gives pedestrians priority, using subtle but effective visual cues instead of curbs and traffic signals. Paving selection that helps differentiate pedestrian, vehicular, and shared spaces is a key aspect.
The mixed-use complex will house retail, offices, housing, and public spaces such as parks and an extensive waterfront promenade.
The project broke ground in March 2014 and will be built in phases, with completion slated for 2020.
Visit The Wharf's official website  for more information.
The current, car-dominated southwestern waterfront. Photo via Google Maps.
Ground plan of the Wharf. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
A view of the Civic Commons. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
Maine Avenue. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
The "Jazz Alley" at night. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
A piazza. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman
Curbless, narrower streets and boardwalks will prioritize pedestrians and give D.C. a new, vibrant waterfront spot.
Plans to improve Washington D.C.'s Potomac River waterfront by Maine Ave. have been discussed for years. Finally, The Wharf has started its first phase of construction.