OMA + OLIN design selected for Washington's 11th Street Bridge Park
Dutch/US design team OMA + OLIN have triumphed to win the competition to design the 11th Street Bridge Park, Washington D.C.'s first elevated park, which will soar above the city's Anacostia river and help unite the communities on its opposing banks.
The competition jury unanimously selected the architectural firms' dynamic ‘Anacostia Crossing' design as the winning project in the seven-month long competiton. It will feature a central plaza, an enclosed café, an environmental centre, which, when combined create an intersecting structure.
"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...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."
In addition to a unanimous jury selection, OMA + OLIN's inspirational design received the highest marks from the competition's ‘Design Oversight Committee' comprised of community stakeholders and the most votes in a public poll of over 1,100 participants.
The US$40 million project aims to transform an old freeway bridge into a new civic space engaging the local community, bringing together residents from across the city and supporting the community's physical, environmental, economic and cultural health. It will be the city's first elevated park, soaring above the Anacostia river and spanning the capital's cityscape.
"Our design creates a literal intersection and a dynamic, multi-layered amenity for both sides of the river," said 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 recognisable within the capital's tradition of civic spaces," he added.
More than 80 firms submitted proposals in March, but the jury chose the winning team from four finalists, who were picked for their "creativity, energy and vision". In addition to the winners, the final four comprised Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson & Partners, Stoss Landscape Urbanism / Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) / NEXT Architects
Funding for the Bridge Park is provided by a US$1 million pre-capital campaign from public and private donors. The Washington D.C. City Government recently committed an additional US$14.5 million toward the project. With the selection of a final design, a capital campaign has been launched to match these funds.