Three Dutch architect-teams on shortlist to design ‘Washington’s High Line’

Six design teams are competing to redesign and build on top of the former 11th Street bridge in Washington. The project is envisioned as a chance to build a local version of New York City’s High Line Park. Dutch architecture and landscape designers OMA, NEXT Architects and Piet Oudolf are on the shortlist. The six teams will be interviewed by the competition’s jury, and four will be asked to submit proposals. The winning design will be selected in mid-October.

The High Line Park, designed by garden designer Piet Oudolf, is a series of gardens, walkways and performance spaces built on a 1.45-mile stretch of abandoned freight rail line. The public park is at the center of what is now a bustling neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.

D.C. does not have an abandoned rail line to work with but it does have the former 11th Street Bridge, made available by construction of the new bridge, which is being opened piece by piece with completion scheduled for mid-2015.

Though the surface of the old bridge deteriorated to the point that it needed to be replaced, members of the community and officials from the Office of Planning and the Department of Transportation launched an effort to build a public park atop the abandoned piers that would connect communities on both sides of the Anacostia River and provide recreational, social and cultural space with riverfront views.

As Scott Kratz, director of the effort, said: “I can’t think of another project in the District where a single intervention could achieve so many different ends.” Here’s a video of some of the collaboration to date:

Team 1: Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson and Partners

Team 2: Piet Oudolf with Glenn LaRue Smith/PUSH Studio / WXY architecture + urban design

Team 3: OLIN/OMA


Team 4: Stoss Landscape Urbanism/Höweler+Yoon Architecture

Team 5: Wallace Roberts + Todd (WRT) / NEXT Architects


Team 6: Ken Smith Landscape / Davis Brody Bond

Sources: Washington Post and Elevation DC Media