Washington Canal Park

Washington, DC
United States
Project Size: 
3 acres
Project type: 
Open space - Park
Site Context: 
Former Land Use: 
Terrestrial Biome: 
Temperate Broadleaf & Mixed Forests
Project overview: 

One of the first parks built as part of the District of Columbia's Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, Canal Park is a model of sustainability, attaining both SITES and LEED Gold certifications, and establishing itself as a social gathering place and an economic trigger. Located on 3 acres of what was recently relegated as a parking lot for district school buses, this three-block long park is sited along the historic former Washington Canal system. Inspired by the site’s waterfront heritage, OLIN’s design evokes the history of the space with a linear rain garden and three pavilions reminiscent of floating barges that were once common in the canal. Through a close collaboration with OLIN, STUDIOS Architecture designed a 9,000-square foot pavilion to host a café and dining area, as well as utilities that support the park and ice rink. Approximately 150-200 square feet each, a second pavilion serves as a stage in the middle of the park, while a third offers storage for park amenities. Custom David Hess sculptures are located on each of the city blocks.

photo by: OLIN / Karl Blumenthal