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Washington Canal Park

Studios Architecture, Olin

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Project Name

Washington Canal Park

Project Status



1,306,800 sq. feet


Canal Park Development Association


  • STUDIOS Architecture

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Project Description

2015 Urban Open Space Award Competition Shortlist Project
Text from the Urban Land Institute:

One of the first parks built as part of the District’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, Canal Park presents a model of sustainability, a social gathering place, and an economic trigger for the surrounding neighborhood.

Located on 3 acres of a former parking lot for district school buses, this 3-block-long park is sited along the historic former Washington Canal system. Inspired by the site’s waterfront heritage, the design evokes the history of the space with a linear rain garden and three pavilions reminiscent of floating barges. The rain garden functions as an integrated stormwater system that is estimated to save the city 1.5 million gallons of potable water per year. Stormwater is captured, treated on-site, and re-used for irrigation, building use and interactive fountains. In collaboration with Olin, Studios Architecture designed a pavilion to host a café. A second pavilion serves as a stage and a third offers storage for park amenities. 28 geothermal wells beneath the ice rink provide efficient energy supply for utilities.

Learn more about the rest of the shortlisted projects here.

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