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Canal Park Opens Friday; JBG Expands Car Charging Stations

Washington Canal Park from theOLINstudio on Vimeo.

CANAL PARK—A major part of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative opens tomorrow with a ceremony starting at 11 AM. After the many DC higher-ups have had their say, the park opens to the public. The landscape architects, OLIN, put as many innovative eco-friendly features in the park as possible, which are all detailed after the jump.

DMV—JBG announced that they have partnered with Blink to continue to install electrice vehicle charging stations at their properties. So far the following places have charging stations:

In Maryland, Blink stations are available at 1 Choke Cherry Rd., Rockville; Fishers Place, 5635 Fishers Lane, Rockville; North Bethesda Market, 11351 Woodglen Dr., North Bethesda; The Alaire, 1101 Higgins Place, Rockville; Rockwall I & II, 11400 Rockville Pike and 5515 Security Lane, Rockville; and Chase Tower, 4445 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase.

In Northern Virginia, the locations are: Reston Westin, 11750 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston; Sheraton Premiere Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike, Vienna; Hyatt Fair Lakes,12777 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax; Hilton Crystal City, 2399 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington; Rosslyn Gateway, 1911/1901 N. Lynn St., Arlington.

In the District, the locations are800 K St./801 Eye St. NW and L'Enfant Plaza.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OLIN, a landscape architecture, urban design and planning studio with locations in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, has led the design and construction of Canal Park in Washington, D.C. The park opens to the public on November 16, 2012. One of the first parks built as part of the District's Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, Canal Park has been designed as a vibrant social gathering place and an economic catalyst for the surrounding neighborhood. The park is also a model of sustainable design, serving as a pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) and a candidate for LEED® Gold certification.

The three-block site was once a part of the historic Washington City Canal that connected the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. The canal was paved over in the 1870s and most recently served as a parking lot for school buses. Inspired by the canal's heritage, Canal Park's design evokes the history of the area with a linear rain garden reminiscent of the Washington Canal and three pavilions, designed by STUDIOS Architecture, which recall floating barges that were once common in the canal. The park will feature diverse amenities, including a café with outdoor seating, an interactive fountain, an ice skating path, play and performance areas, and sculptures by artist David Hess. Each block is given its own unique identity within a cohesive urban experience. The Canal Park Development Association, in partnership with the Capital Riverfront Business Improvement District, will host numerous events throughout the year, such as movies and concerts, holiday and seasonal festivals, farmers markets, art expositions, educational and environmental programming, storytelling events, and more.

In addition to being a vibrant social destination, Canal Park is a model for green infrastructure strategies. The former brownfield has been transformed into a landscape that restores vital ecosystem services that were lost when the site served as a parking lot. Contaminated soils were replaced with a healthy growing medium and the native plant habitat was re-introduced. Canal Park's stormwater system includes a linear rain garden that spans the length of the park, Low Impact Design tree pits, and two underground cisterns which can collectively hold 80,000 gallons of water. The stormwater system captures, treats and stores almost all of the stormwater runoff generated by the park and neighboring city blocks, which averages to 1.5 million gallons of reused water each year. The treated water is used to satisfy up to 95 percent of the park's water needs for fountains, irrigation, toilets and the ice skating path. Underneath the park, 28 geothermal wells provide a highly efficient energy supply for park utilities. The wells are forecasted to reduce Canal Park's overall energy consumption by 37 percent. Other sustainable features include the use of sustainably harvested wood for benches and architectural elements, electric car parking stations, ample bicycle racks and cross-streets designed to calm traffic speeds around the park and provide a safe pedestrian environment.

"Canal Park is a unique place that delivers an artful assembly of social, economic and environmental performance," stated Steve Benz, OLIN Partner and Director of Green Infrastructure. "As a successful social space, people can enjoy the re-established natural systems previously lost to development while providing an economic stimulus for the surrounding area."

Through a close collaboration with OLIN, STUDIOS Architecture designed three permanent pavilions. The largest pavilion, at 9,000-square-feet, will host a café and dining area, as well as utilities that support the park and ice skating path. The structure is made of reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood from black locust trees and is expected to earn LEED Gold certification. The roof also serves as a public plaza and features a large lantern with translucent acrylic panels which will become a medium for projection art and light displays. The pavilion's sustainable features include geothermal heating and cooling, vegetated roof surfaces, natural ventilation, low-flush toilets and fixtures, energy/water monitoring dashboard systems, and utilization of the park's stormwater treatment system for non-potable water. Made of similar materials and approximately 150-200-square feet each, a second pavilion appears to float above a linear fountain, while a third pavilion bookends the park at the north and provides storage for park amenities.

The OLIN team, led by Partner and Director of Green Infrastructure Steve Benz and managed by Associate Sophie Robitaille, directed a team of fourteen consultants on the project, including architects STUDIOS Architecture; stormwater engineers Nitsch Engineering; civil engineers VIKA Capitol, Inc.; lighting designer and sustainability energy consultants Atelier Ten; MEP engineers Joseph R. Loring & Associates; structural engineers SK&A Structural Engineers; irrigation designers Lynch & Associates; ice path designers & fountain engineers Stantec Bonestroo; geotechnical consultants Soil Consultants; sculptor David Hess; signage designers The Design Theorem; audio visual consultants Shen Milsom & Wilke; dry utility consultants Richter & Associates; and cost estimator Davis Langdon, an AECOM Company.

About OLIN

OLIN is a landscape architecture, urban design and planning studio dedicated to creating timeless spaces that promote social interaction and enhance life. The studio remains at the forefront of the design profession by uniting a dynamic design process, rigorous research and analysis. OLIN is engaged in projects across the globe and at all scales, including ecological and regional systems, urban districts, campuses, civic parks, plazas and intimate gardens. Bryant Park and Battery Park City in New York, The J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles and The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. are some celebrated OLIN projects. OLIN's team of landscape architects, building architects, planners, ecological engineers and support staff includes twelve partners: Laurie Olin, Dennis McGlade, Lucinda Sanders, Susan Weiler, Robert Bedell, Richard Newton, Skip Graffam, Chris Hanley, Hallie Boyce, Steve Benz, Richard Roark and Tiffany Beamer. OLIN has studios in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. For more information, visit

Canal Park

200 M Street SE, Washington, DC 20003