On July 8, 2020, Moya Design Partners announced the completion of the new Eastern Market Metro Park–Phase 1, for the Department of General Services (DGS) in Southeast Washington DC.
Moya Design Partners, the Architect of Record on this project, joins the DC Department of General Services, Keystone Plus Construction, and the Capitol Hill community in celebrating the opening of Phase 1 of the all-new, renovated Eastern Market Metro Park (EMMP). Eastern Market is one of the few historic public market buildings left in Washington DC. The surrounding neighborhood, which also houses Barracks Row Main Street, is composed of six disparate parcels of land under complex ownership and management. In 2013-14, Barracks Row Main Street commissioned a community-led master plan that called for public space improvements surrounding the Eastern Market Metro station.
From 2018–2020, Moya Design Partners led a team of landscape architects and engineers including LandDesign, AMT, Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, and SETTY, that worked with the DC Department of General Services (DGS) and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to engage the community in developing, refining, and implementing the design for a safe and thriving “Town Square” for historic Capitol Hill.
Keystone Plus Construction managed the construction of this design-build project. Other DC and Federal agencies contributed to the successful completion of the project, including District Department of Transportation, Department of Energy and the Environment, the Office of Planning, DC Water, Commission on Fine Arts, the DC Historic Preservation Office, National Capital Planning Commission, and the National Park Service.
“I’m excited that Eastern Market Metro Park is open to the public, because it’s a project that I hold very dear to my heart,” said Moya Design Partners’ Project Manager Marilaura Guerrero. “Not only did the process reiterate how powerful and important it is to give a strong voice to the community, this project also involved coordination with every single agency in DC. It has been a rewarding and wonderful experience to work with such an amazing team.”
The primary goal for Eastern Market Metro Park was to transform the area and surrounding DPR/NPS/WMATA parkland into a community gathering space that supports multi-generational social activities. Some of the District’s other objectives included improved connectivity, enhanced multi-modal transit access, and increased green infrastructure. This is the first District project to use the ENVISION program from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. ENVISION helps to align new infrastructure with DC’s citywide resiliency goals.
“It has been an honor for my firm to collaborate on the design for the Eastern Market Metro Park for the Department of General Services,” said Paola Moya, CEO of Moya Design Partners. “Having worked on several public spaces for DGS over the years, it’s a privilege to now help create the space for this community in this highly transited park.”
Moya Design Partners and LandDesign, Inc. developed the finished design with support from AMT LLC (AMT) (civil engineers); Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) (structural); SETTY (MEP); and Applied Archaeology & History Associates (AAHA). The design features a state-of-the-art playground with a splash pad and shade structures. A bosque with dappled shade has seating for leisure, while a performance space at the Metro contributes to community engagement. Other features of the design include rain gardens, improved stormwater management, and landscape improvements along Pennsylvania Avenue.
To enhance the relationship between the park and the Southeast Library, MOYA proposed a tabletop condition on 7th Street that pairs with landscaping to set off the library’s iconic Beaux Arts façade. The library is planning its own renovations, so the design makes space for DCPL programming to activate, beautify, and provide noise mitigation outdoors. With respect to the park as a transit hub, the team made traffic and pedestrian circulation improvements including ADA accessible paths.
A Collaborative Design
MOYA’s design challenge at Eastern Market Metro Park was to lead a collaborative process that involved not only the Capitol Hill community, but also multiple review agencies. We worked with the National Park Service (NPS), Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), Historical Preservation Review Board (HPRB), District Department of Transportation (DDOT), District Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Office of Planning (OP), National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and Department of General Services (DGS) to achieve regulatory approval in what was a complex project for ownership and jurisdiction.
The design process began in the fall of 2018, and Phase 1 construction began this February. Throughout the process, MOYA led meetings between the design-build team; federal, District, and local agencies; the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Team (EMMPAT); and ANC 6b to truly integrate the community’s voice.
Construction of Eastern Market Metro Park is split into two phases to allow the public to enjoy the space during the summer. Phase 1, which involves Parcel 1, includes a playground with equipment for children from ages 2-5 and 5-12, the splash pad, a recreation lawn, a deck nature area, improved bioretention, and a new evergreen tree. The work being performed for Phase 2 (scheduled to start in Fall 2020) includes Parcels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and the surrounding streets that also include the perimeter of Parcel 1 area. The park improvements include but are not limited to the following:
- A bosque area;
- Slip lane access closure(s) at both D Street, SE (north and south);
- Curb calming bulb-outs;
- Exterior “Pavilion” shade structure;
- Seating benches; tables; drinking fountain;
- Bike racks;
- Light bollards;
- ADA curb ramp upgrades;
- Raised sidewalk (tabletop) at 7th Street, SE;
- Pavement markings and seating walls.
The project team included Moya Design Partners, Keystone Plus Construction, LandDesign, Inc., A. Morton Thomas & Associates, Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, SETTY, Applied Archaeology & History Associates, with furnishings from Sparks@Play and Poligon.
(Source: Moya Design Partners; Photo credit: Moya Design Partners)