THE CROSSING is a bridge for people, a place for knitting togethercommunities, a park for action and activity, a rich and productive environmentfor neighbors, for visitors, for wildlife, for plants—and for the river.THE CROSSING is also an active strategy for engaging people and time, forbringing them into the conversation. It’s flexible. It can adapt itself to furtherinput from community members, stakeholders, and the multitude of publicagencies that have jurisdiction over the project. And it can adapt to new needsand unforeseen desires over the long term.
Our proposal for the 11th Street Bridge Park puts in place a new crossing, onethat establishes new connections across and to the Anacostia River and to theburgeoning and socially / culturally rich neighborhoods along its banks.THE CROSSING is a new place of convergence, of congregation, of crossbreeding.It is an incubator for social and community and civic life, and amodel for building healthy bodies, healthy neighborhoods, and a healthy riverenvironment.
A RIVER PARK, A CITY PARK
As a river park, the project creates new river spaces—boating docks, fishing piers, boardwalks, and cleansing riverwetlands—along its banks, with hillsides and amphitheatersand orchards oriented to it. On the bridge span itself, river“windows” and activity spaces that step down below thebridge park surface (the small amphitheater, and the cafélookout) offer unique perspectives on the river, integrating itbetter into the routine experiences of those who pass acrossthe bridge or visit it.
At the same time, the café, the river plaza, theenvironmental education center, the climbing wall / playspace, the art plazas, the amphitheaters, and the urbanorchards all off er distinctly civic activities and experiencesin the heart of the city. Overlooks, lookouts, the caféroof and lawn slope create distinct moments to take inthe unparalleled views of the lower Anacostia and thespectacular cityscapes around it.
A REGIONAL DESTINATION
AN EVERYDAY MEETING PLACE
The bridge park serves two seemingly competing goals:create a new regional destination for all of Washington thatattracts people from across the city; and create a placefor the playing out of everyday life, from walking, running,fishing, and strolling, to hanging out, cuddling with a friendor lover, or grabbing a coffee on the way to work.
Plug-n-play plazas and amphitheaters are outfitted withwater and power hookups in order o support a wide arrayof activities, including performances, farmer’s markets,sculpture installations, and the like. They can be usedindividually or collectively—even expanding to take over theadjacent 11th Street Bridge once or twice a year to host newmusic or arts festivals. Enclosures are easily transformable,in order to host classes, lectures, special events, and makerspaces that attract people from far and wide.
At the same time, safe and attractive walking, running, andbiking paths; lawns and integrated seating; play elements;lush hanging gardens; a café terrace; and orchard slopes alloffer unique settings for doing the things that people justdo—relaxing, enjoying each other’s company, meeting a newfriend.