Photo Courtesy of OLIN
April 20, 2023
6:00 -8:30 PM
AIA 1.5 LU, HSW Approved
1.5 LACES Approved
This lecture will explore a joint project by Olin and OMA, the 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C.. This project addresses a set of entrenched divisions that dominate many cities—disparities of income and investment that all too often align with race and are reinforced by geography. D.C. was planned around the confluence of two rivers, the Potomac and the Anacostia. While the more recognized Potomac defines its organic southwestern edge with Virginia, the Anacostia cuts through the city, dividing its southeastern quadrant from the rest.
The west side of the Anacostia River is defined by Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s classical plan, crisscrossed with diagonal avenues whose intersections—called Reservations—mark the locations of civic buildings and public spaces. The east side is less formally organized, with a terrain of hills that fragment its street grid and a riverfront that is bucolic in comparison to the industrialized western bank. The west is dominated by D.C.’s practical and symbolic role as the nation’s capital, while the largely African-American east side is home to more native D.C. residents than any other neighborhood. Today, the west is high income while the east has the lowest income levels in the district.
Over the last fifteen years, the post-industrial Capitol Riverfront along the west bank has become a thriving mixed-use area, while the east side has long been excluded from the city’s economic progress. OMA+OLIN’s winning design for the 11th Street Bridge Park Competition connects two historically disparate sides of the Anacostia River with a series of rooms and active zones, including two sloped ramps that elevate visitors to maximized look-out points to landmarks in either direction. Each ramp terminates in a waterfall that visually reconnects the ramps to the river below. In addition to demonstrating how plants cleanse captured rainwater, the waterfalls above the bridge deck provide cooling breezes and a calming sound. 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. The form of the bridge creates an iconic encounter, an “X” instantly recognizable as the river’s new image.
About the Speakers:
A Partner since 2009, Hallie’s focus is the design and planning of landscapes that weave together the elements of art and ecology, creating greater social and physical resiliency for cultural institutions and communities both in the US and abroad. Her passion is creating educational opportunities through the medium of landscape that engage current and future generations towards promoting their stewardship of our world and addressing its key issues of climate change, equity, and environmental justice.
Hallie’s award-winning work includes the design of courtyards, plazas, gardens, parks, campuses, and waterfronts. Recent projects include the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of American History. Hallie has led the design of the grounds of the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill; the design of the National Geographic Headquarters Base Camp, a landscape focused on world biomes and biodiversity; the 11th Street Bridge Park, a destination landscape focused on the health of the Anacostia River and its adjacent neighborhoods; and Currie Park, a resiliency hub on the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her realized projects include the new U.S. Embassy in London as well as the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and Spirit of Women Park in Columbus, Ohio.
Jason Long is a Partner at OMA who leads its New York office and diverse portfolio in the Americas. Since joining the firm in 2003, Jason has brought a research-driven, interdisciplinary approach to a wide range of OMA’s projects internationally.
A number of projects under Jason’s direction take a creative approach to adaptive reuse and preservation, including POST Houston, the transformation of a former post office warehouse into a mixed-use hub; the conversion of a historic parking garage in New York City into a new synagogue; the renovation of the historic Fitzgerald Building at University of Toronto into the university’s administration center; the adaptive reuse of Jersey City’s historic Pathside Building into Centre Pompidou x Jersey City; and LANTERN, the reimagination of a former commercial bakery into a community arts hub in Detroit.
Jason also leads projects in Washington D.C. that provide an innovative approach to recreation, public health, and equitable development at varying scales: a streetscape design for Washington D.C.’s convention center, the 11th Street Bridge Park connecting disparate communities on either side of the Anacostia River, and a masterplan for the RFK Stadium Armory Campus.
Thank You to our Generous Sponsors
Ames & Gough*
Craig Gaulden Davis Architecture*
Hope Furrer Associates*
Monkey in the Metal*
Swirnow Building Systems
Ziger | Snead*
* Denotes 2023 Annual Sponsors
*+ Denotes 2023 Annual Sponsor and Event Sponsor