RFK Stadium. Photo from Archdaily.
Washington DC’s RFK stadium has a storied past and now, it’s future has gotten interesting too. Built in 1960 this undulating concrete structure was designed by architect George Leighton Dahl. Built to house the Washington Redskins football team it’s quite an interesting building located on a fantastic but lately unappreciated site where East Capitol Street meets the Anacostia River.
Having lived in the same neighbourhood as RFK, and taken the metro from the adjacent station daily for years, I’m really excited that Dutch architect and urban designer Rem Koolhaas and his firm, OMA have been hired to study the site. This stadium and its site are today very much under appreciated. The site was identified in studies by the National Capital Planning Commission as a locus for a Capital gateway including potentially commemorations.
The District of Columbia has staged an impressive turn around in recent years. Many will recall its fearsome reputation as a crime ridden and dangerous urban centre in the 1990’s, but less well known perhaps is it’s new status as a vibrant city. The DC area has accounted for at least half of the US’ richest counties in the last few years and become a showcase for the larger trend toward young professionals rediscovering cities and urban living.
Personal experiences attest to this remarkable shift, having lived in Washington DC for eight years beginning in 2001 when it began its transformation. Working as an architect on some of the redevelopment projects that played a role, major and minor, provided a front row seat to a the city’s rebound, chronicled in this story by BBC reporters Aidan Lewis and Bill McKenna. Of particular interest here are details about some of the social and cultural forces that created and shaped DC’s successes.
Washington DC’s City Center DC project is nearing completion and the project’s architect of record and designer of two of the six buildings on the site, Shalom Baranes is urging changes to the city’s height restrictions that would enable more of this type of project.
www.see-change.net : DC Building Height