As the old 11th Street bridges that connect Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill and historic Anacostia neighborhoods are being replaced over a largely forgotten urban river, a local nonprofit organization, Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC, and the District government will transform this aged infrastructure into the city’s first elevated park: an inspirational new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education and the arts.
The Design Competition invited designers to imagine a lively and sustainable communal bridge park where residents from both sides of the Anacostia River can gather and experience the water, the arts and each other; and create proposals for a unique and inspirational 11th Street Bridge Park for residents, tourists, and generations to come.
The Jury came to a unanimous decision to select the design concept by OLIN/OMA, which they considered had best achieved the 11th Street Bridge Park Design Principles. The concept provided a truly iconic form—one that is powerful in its monumentality, yet contrasts with the federal architecture of Washington. It also provided strong symbolism that genuinely represents the coming together of communities—a figurative and literal bridging of the river. There is a poetic aspect to the clean and elegant scheme, and a sophistication with which the elements came together.