Burnham Place at Union Station Master Plan

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Burnham Place at Union Station | Notes of Interest

The Union Station/Burnham Place master plan seamlessly integrates new transit facilities in the heart of Washington, D.C., with high-density, mixed-use development and a network of public spaces unique to the city. The plan envisions 9 million square feet of new construction within the footprint of the existing station and rail yard, but also respects Daniel Burnham’s historic Union Station. Plan components include an ultra-high-capacity intermodal transportation center, a new train hall for high-speed rail, public plazas, reintegrated street grid, and linear greenway, all woven together to enhance the vitality of the neighborhood.

The master plan recognizes that Union Station is an engine for sustainable economic growth, and its ability to expand and thrive is essential to continued local and regional vitality. The plan will improve and substantially expand the primary functions of the station, focusing on the core needs of a multimodal transportation center by increasing capacity, quality, and vitality.

Further, the plan recognizes that placement of a dense, mixed-use development directly above an urban, multimodal transportation hub is essential to leveraging the sustainability benefits of the transportation improvements and critical to mending a gaping hole in the urban fabric of Washington. The plan will improve the city by creating a vibrant new neighborhood.

Additional Credit

  • Burnham Place Landscape Planners: AECOM
  • Cost Estimators: Faithful & Gould
  • Engineer: Geotechnical: ECS Limited
  • Engineer: Structural: Thornton Tomasetti
  • Engineer: Traffic: Gorove Slade
  • Pre-Construction Consultation: Clark Construction
  • Union Station Master Plan Coordinator: LAB
  • Union Station Master Plan Sponsor: Amtrak
  • Union Station and Terminal Transportation Planners: Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Union Station and Train Shed Master Planners: HOK

Photo Credit

  • © Akridge and Shalom Baranes Associates, PC
  • © Amtrak and HOK

Burnham Place at Union Station

Jury Comments

This is a commendable plan for the sensitivity it shows to reconnecting DC’s historic context while successfully integrating an extremely complex set of uses and transportation modes. Despite the challenges of building on a podium above the rail yards, the plan’s framework maintains continuity of public streets and bikeways lined with mixed-use development while including a new public space extending from the expanded, updated new station hall.

This is a compelling transit-oriented redevelopment idea with innovative integration of green space, internal streets, and public domain to enhance the experience of walking and arriving in Washington, DC. The ultimate success of the project will be highly dependent on the quality of the architecture.

It is ambitious urban design that interweaves the public and private realms. With some relatively small moves it successfully defines public space.

More about Burnham Place at Union Station Master Plan.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury

  • Mark Shapiro, AIA, Chair
  • Mithun, Inc.
  • Seattle
  • Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Atlanta
  • William A. Gilchrist, FAIA
  • Place Based Planning
  • New Orleans
  • Toni L. Griffin, AIA
  • The City College of New York
  • New York City
  • Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
  • Washington, DC

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