Four competing teams of architects have unveiled their proposals for what will become the first elevated park in Washington, DC . Measuring roughly the same length as three American Football fields placed end-to-end, the 11th Street Bridge Park project will be built upon the foundations of a former freeway bridge that spans the Anacostia River and serve the communities which lie either side.

The 11th Street Bridge Park project was conceived by The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), and has received funding from the Washington, DC city council. At this stage, the proposals are still relatively lacking in specifics, though we can expect more details to be revealed once a winning proposal is chosen and work begins in earnest.

Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners

Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners' proposal strives for inclusivity and hopes to bring communities on both side of the river closer together. The park will connect a walkway from Martin Luther King Avenue in Anacostia with 8th Street on Capitol Hill.

The bridge-based park features basketball courts, a skate park, a water garden and a number of cafes. There's also a boardwalk, kayak launch, herb garden, and public art spaces.


OMA and OLIN's proposal is the most detailed of the four. It features two sloped pedestrian ramps which reach lookout points that boast a good view of nearby local landmarks. The park also offers access to the river to facilitate boating and related water-based activities, plus amenities such as restrooms, refreshments, and shelters.

Interestingly, OMA and OLIN's proposal also calls for a waterfall that's linked to a filtration system, which in turn cleans the water around the bridge – though its not made clear just how this works.

Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture's proposal promises flexibility and, despite its climbing wall, fishing pier, floating gardens and several cafes, remains adaptable and expandable should requirements change as further planning commences. There's also an education center, amphitheater and multiple lawns and orchards.

Wallace Roberts & Todd and NEXT Architects

Wallace Roberts & Todd and Next Architects' proposal promises a healthy focus on fun. The park is split into four distinct recreational zones and includes a dog park, herb wall, water garden, amphitheater, water taxi-stop, fishing pier, climbing nets, and even a trampoline park.

Members of the public are invited to offer their opinions of the proposals by filling out a survey (via the source link below), and the judges promise to take the comments into consideration while making their decision in mid-October. Construction should be completed by 2018 and is expected to cost approximately US$30 million.

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