Not long ago the District of Columbia (DC) put out a call to design build teams for ‘an innovative and aesthetically unique’ temporary pavilion to be built on the city’s St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Campus, a national historic landmark and former insane asylum that is being transformed to house the US Department of Homeland Security and the Headquarters of the US Coast Guard.
The charge to competitors was to design a multipurpose structure that would serve as a gateway to the project, unifying its East and West campuses, while also providing a venue for a farmers market, arts activities, and other community uses as the 180-acre site located in the Anacostia neighbourhood of Southeast Washington, DC undergoes massive transformation.
It has now been announced that the team of Davis Brody Bond, KADCON, and Silman Associates won the competition to design the pavilion, besting shortlisted teams of ISTUDIO Architects and MCN Build, and Ayers Saint Gross and Donohoe Construction. The winning design envisions a multi-purpose park that will provide a venue for casual dining, a farmers’ market and other weekend and after-hours community, cultural and arts events.
St. Elizabeth’s Gateway Pavilion is characterized by angular volumes and a green-roofed covered pavilion. Visitors and employees of the hospital can approach the plaza from three distinct ways and the Plaza will be an iconic structure visible from many vantage points. At its highest point, the Pavilion is 22ft high and will serve as the central point for many activities.
The plaza has been designed with sustainability and environmental responsibility as a driving goal. Rainwater will be harvested and stored in underground cisterns capable of supplying irrigation and water for restrooms. Photovoltaic panels, biodiesel and composting will help take the facility virtually off the grid. Additionally, the project will make use of recycled or renewable materials such as canvas, burlap, ‘grasscrete’, and reclaimed wood.
No word yet on when the project will commence or when it is expected to be complete, but it’s being billed as ‘an important project for the community of Ward 8 and employees of the hospital’.