Washington, D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition, currently underway, selected four finalists today. These four teams will each receive a $25,000 stipend to develop designs, due September 9, 2014. A public design exhibition will be held from September 24-October 11, with the winning design selected on October 15. The international competition was launched in March of this year by a D.C.-based nonprofit organization entitled Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus) in conjunction with Washington, D.C.’s Office of Planning.
The 11th Street Bridge Park aims to re-cast an existing bridge as a park that spans the Anacostia River. Although the former vehicular bridge is being replaced, city planners saw an opportunity to build a new civic space atop the remaining piers of the old bridge. Using this infrastructure, invited teams would be able to build a bridge roughly 1,000 feet long and approximately 120 feet wide.
Earlier this month, six teams were selected from a field of 41 entries to be interviewed by the competition jury today in Washington. These six teams, each of which pairs a landscape architect with an architect or architecture firm, were selected on the basis of their RFQ submittals. This week the teams met with the jury to present examples of previous works, statements of design, and full lists of extended partners, including structural engineers, artists, hydrologists, and consultants from related fields.
The four finalist teams, who will participate in a town hall-style meeting at THEARC in southeast Washington on June 10, are listed below with representative images of their past civic works:
Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson & Partners / Guy Nordenson Associates
OLIN / OMA / Arup
Stoss Landscape Urbanism / Höweler + Yoon Architecture / Robert Silman Associates
Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) / NEXT Architects / Magnusson Klemencic Associates
The two teams invited, but not selected, are:
Piet Oudolf with Glenn LaRue Smith/PUSH Studio / WXY architecture + urban design
Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape / Davis Brody Bond
The program and typology of this project have drawn comparisons to New York’s High Line, also a park built upon existing infrastructure. However, the High Line benefits from its location—directly above Manhattan’s Chelsea and Meatpacking districts, already booming with the kind of development that can support a $150 million revitalization effort—while the 11th Street Bridge Park bridges a river between two disparate Washington neighborhoods, Capitol Hill and Anacostia. As such, it remains to be seen how much development will be spawned at either end of the park, though both neighborhoods stand to benefit from the crossing, which will be open to pedestrians and cyclists, with the possibility of a streetcar stop on an as-yet-unfunded extension to the transit system. Perhaps a closer point of comparison for the 11th Street Bridge Park is Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, which spans a recessed portion of freeway between the Dallas Arts District and nearby Uptown. Opened in 2012, the $110 million park includes playgrounds, croquet and putting greens, chess tables, and a small dog run. 11th Street Bridge will have a $25 million construction budget—with an additional $10 million as a programming endowment—and lists features like outdoor performance spaces and community gardens among the programmatic requirements set forth for the competition. Funding is ongoing, and the park has a tentative completion target of late 2017.