11th Street Bridge Park is a place of exchange, an iconic new civic space uniting two historically separated communities and supporting environmental, economic, cultural and physical health. Originally commissioned through a national design competition, the project, now in progress, will contribute to the civic fabric of Washington, D.C. through a multi-functional landscape which promotes the health of the Anacostia River and its adjacent communities, acting as a model both nationally and globally.
The design began with a series of decommissioned bridge piers, left in place in the Anacostia River when a highway bridge was demolished and relocated. Building on top of this existing infrastructure, the bridge park is comprised of a series of rooms and active zones, including two sloped ramps that elevate visitors to maximized look-out points viewing landmarks in either direction. This new geometry of the bridge creates an iconic encounter in the shape an “X,” instantly recognizable as a symbol of crossing, exchange, and convergence.
Each ramp terminates in a waterfall that visually connects the ramps to the river below. In addition to demonstrating how plants cleanse captured rainwater, the waterfalls above the bridge deck provides a cooling breeze and calming sounds. The waterfall below the structure collects surface river water and drops it back into the river, emphasizing the need for river aeration and higher oxygen levels. To encourage visitors to the bridge and neighboring communities, the design includes amenities for comfort and refreshment and an open plaza for markets, festivals, and theatrical performances.