The 11th Street Bridge Park Competition jury unanimously selected OMA, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and OLIN, based in Philadelphia, to design a park in Southeast Washington, D.C. The competition to design the 11th St. Bridge Park began in March with the goal of converting an existing bridge spanning the Anacostia River into an elevated park uniting the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and Anacostia.
In addition to a unanimous jury selection, the team's design, "Anacostia Crossing" 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 three other shortlisted teams included Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners; Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Stoss Landscape Urbanism; and NEXT Architects and Wallace Roberts & Todd.
"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 in a press release. "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."
"The 11th Street Bridge project is a special precinct in the structure of the City" said competition juror Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA, professor of urban design and dean emeritus at Howard University, in the press release. "It is at once both a crossing and place. In its purest role it is a hyphen that connects and celebrates the physical and cultural histories of two historic and vibrant Anacostia shoreline communities, while establishing a civic expression of democracy."
Juror Howard Frumkin, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington added: "The 11th Street Bridge project is enormously exciting, not only as a means of building community and improving quality of life, but also as a strategy for promoting health. It will promote physical activity, access to healthy food, contact with nature, socializing—all proven prescriptions for better health. What a giant step for the health of the people of our nation’s capital!"