Washington DC 2009- In Progress
Situated in the heart of a burgeoning residential district, Washington Canal Park will become a new and innovative social nexus for Washington, DC adjacent to the Anacostia riverfront. Once a three-block stretch of the Washington Canal system, the site had been relegated in recent times to a parking lot for district school buses. Working with the client, OLIN developed a design that evokes the history of the space, with a linear rain garden and a series of pavilions reminiscent of floating barges that were once common in the canal. Through diverse programming, from a restaurant with outdoor seating, to an interactive fountain that functions as an ice rink in winter, to children’s play areas, each block is given its own unique identity within a cohesive experience. Achieving the client’s desire to create a zero-energy pedagogic park, design elements demonstrate modern sustainable strategies and educate the community on environmental challenges and solutions. The rain garden functions as a stormwater collection basin, which filters and directs the water to an underground storage tank. Rainwater will also be collected from the roofs of future adjacent buildings, fulfilling the majority of the park’s irrigation demands.