A dangerous intersection transformed into three welcoming community parks
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DETAILS

LocationWashington, DC, United States
ClientNoma Parks Foundation
Size37,000 sf

One of the most dangerous intersections at the gateway into downtown Washington DC was targeted for significant improvement. Prompted by the demolition of a Wendy’s restaurant and new road alignments to ease traffic congestion, SWA/Balsley was hired to create a memorable new gateway experience and usable, inviting parks in the newly acquired public land. The team drew inspiration from the surrounding context, developing concepts that protect pedestrians and provide sheltered areas to sit, eat, and play. Softly sloping berms are used in each scheme as multi-functional elements buffering traffic, collecting stormwater, and providing sculptural seat-walls. Bio-swales are also used along the street edges. Placemaking elements, including planters and artistic screens, also protect visitors, acting as buffers from the street.

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