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OMA, OLIN Design Bridge Park

OMA and OLIN Named Winners of D.C. Bridge Park Design Competition

Architectural Record, Oct. 20, 2014

On October 15, OMA + OLIN was named the winner of the design competition for 11th Street Bridge Park, a planned linear park spanning Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia River that has been widely compared to the High Line and could open in 2018.

Selected from four finalist teams, the team comprised of the Dutch architecture firm and the Philadelphia landscape architects won the unanimous support of the jury with their bold, X-shaped design—the most iconic in form, and also the most densely programmed, of those on the short list.

The new park—to be built over existing piers from an obsolete bridge across the river—will feature a café, amphitheater, boat launch, performance space, education center, “hammock grove,” and three waterfalls, plus lawns and gardens along its roughly 1,000-foot length (about the same as three football fields laid end to end).

At a presentation the morning after the announcement, OMA’s Jason Long compared the bridge park to the Rialto Bridge in Venice, as well as a new bridge that OMA is designing in the French city of Bordeaux. Like those civic spaces, the designers believe this one “needs to be rich with program, to make it a really true, active public space,” and “a place [where] lots of different kinds of things can happen,” he said.

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