Visitors to Washington DC will soon be able to stroll through a sizable Garden Bridge-style park that spans the Anacostia River. Designed by OMA and landscape architects OLIN, the 11th Street Bridge Park will offer green space, viewing points, and educational areas, with some sustainable technology planned too.
11th Street Bridge Park is headed by OMA Partner Jason Long, and also involves engineers WRA and Delon Hampton and Associates, plus local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River. It’s the result of an architecture competition held back in 2014 and recently received planning permission. Construction is expected to commence in 2021.
Details are still quite thin on the project – OMA wasn’t able to share its expected physical dimensions yet, for example – but we know the bridge will take the form of a squashed X shape and feature two large raised ramps for pedestrians. These ramps will feature viewing points and will culminate in waterfalls intended to cool the immediate area.
Additionally, there will be garden areas, an amphitheater, lawns, children’s play area, a cafe, and an education center. Solar panels are planned to power the lattermost and rainwater capture is mentioned too. That said, details are still subject to change at this stage.
The bridge will be built on top of the existing structural piles of an original bridge on the site and an intensive feasibility phase had to be carried out to test their load capacity. This brings to mind Heatherwick Studio’s ongoing Little Island in New York City, which also integrates an existing pier structure (the same firm designed the Garden Bridge).
Following the success of New York City’s High Line, these kinds of elevated city parks are popular with architects and city planners at the moment, and other examples include MVRDV’s Seoullo 7017 Skygarde in Seoul and Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s The Tide, which is planned for London.
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