NoMa Underpass Design Competition Request for Qualifications

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The NoMa Parks Foundation seeks an artist, artist team, designer or architect to create designs for four railroad underpasses in the NoMa neighborhood of Washington, D.C. We encourage all local, nationally, and internationally qualified artists, artist teams, designers, landscape architects and architects to apply. The selected designs create a network of transformed underpasses that will attract visitors and provide an engaging and positive sensory experience for all who pass through them. The final projects which will become part of the parks system will provide greater visibility of the area for those living outside of NoMa.

In the early 1990s, NoMa was largely a vacant industrial district. Since then, a series of public and private initiatives have transformed the area to a vibrant mixed-use community that is roughly 50 percent built out. NoMa still retains transit infrastructure and elements from its industrial past. A major part of this infrastructure are the four railroad underpasses that connect the neighborhood on four primary east-west roads. These four underpasses are critical passages connecting First Street, NE (NoMa’s “Main Street”) to Second Street, NE.
They are essential corridors for the 18,000 residents and 40,000 workers in the area and provide easy access for visitors to area attractions like NPR, Gallaudet University, Union Market, and the bustling H Street, NE corridor. These connections are so essential that, despite unappealing conditions, large numbers of people travel through them every day to reach their destinations on either side of the tracks. Artistic treatment of these four underpasses presents an opportunity in NoMa to impact the public realm and human experience in a significant way.

The neighborhood is bisected by elevated railroad tracks emanating from Union Station serving Amtrak, CSX, Metrorail and regional rail (MARC/VRE). The underpass locations provide critical pedestrian and vehicular passageways that connect First Street, NE to residents and businesses on the East side of the rail lines. The underpass locations are:
A. Florida Avenue, NE between Second and Third Street, NE
B. M Street, NE between First and Second Street, NE
C. L Street, NE between First and Second Street, NE
D. K Street, NE between First and Second Street, NE
Project Budget
The total budget for this project is 1.75 million dollars for four (4) underpass locations. The budget is inclusive of all artist/architect/designer fees, and all of their associated expenses for design, fabrication, shipping, engineering, insurance, site preparation and installation costs. Individual budgets for each location have not yet been determined.



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