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2017 July August Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

Windsor Racecourse

Windsor Racecourse Marina

WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS Concrete floating dock. Transient vessels; 700ft (213m) of side tie. Fixed pier with concrete floating dock. Low-freeboard dock for paddle craft; 150ft (46m) of side tie. Concrete floating docks. Visitor dock; 30 slips and 1,000ft (305m) of side tie. Fixed concrete pier. Restaurant and permanent fish market barge, 230ft (70m) of side tie. Fixed concrete pier. Large vessel mooring; 930ft (283m) of side tie. Concrete floating docks. Private moorage; 100 slips. Concrete floating docks. 200 slips and 2,520 ft (768m) of side tie. Fixed concrete pier. Entertainment cruises, operations; 1,450ft (442m) of side tie. principles: create a true waterfront neighbourhood, bring the District to the water’s edge, and make the waterfront neighbourhood walkable,” he said. The first principle, to create a true waterfront neighbourhood, is modelled after some of the world’s great waterfronts such as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Vancouver. To reach that goal, The Wharf employs a mix of more than a dozen local and internationallyrecognised architectural firms. Selecting multiple architects for the buildings and public spaces ensures that the waterfront will be a lively destination with a multitude of experiences - and that the neighbourhood will be truly re-imagined. The second principle, to bring the District to the water’s edge, was achieved in an unexpected way. “Eckstut set out to create a master plan for The Wharf,” said Seaman. “He began by considering how the things on the water activate the landside uses. That was brilliant. The master plan reconnects people in Washington DC to the new and beautiful waterfront.” Michael Bruce, maritime manager for The Wharf, elaborated. “We are building a central harbour for the District with a variety of commercial and public uses. As we cleared away the old slips, we realised we have a huge body of water. More than a parking lot for boats, we will have an active waterfront with marinas, day docks, public piers, tall ships, excursion cruises and water taxis. We are creating a robust water taxi system to link The Wharf to points all around the DC area.” The third principle is to make The Wharf pedestrian friendly. Buildings and public spaces are confined to 200ft² (18.6m²) of walkable blocks with a number of circulation paths, rather than the previously impermeable large blocks that forced people to enter at major intersections. The two-storey parking garage is under the buildings, eliminating large surface parking areas that separate the waterfront from the city. Ambience is enhanced by a number of small courtyards that architects call mews (stables reconfigured into shops and restaurants). The Wharf Street granite-cobblestonepaved promenade is a 60ft (18m) wide shared environment for pedestrians and cars. When the backs of the buildings faced the water, the original two-level promenade was dismal and uninviting. The new promenade is 12ft (3.6m) above sea level and ringed by shops and restaurants. One-way 5-mph auto access will allow drop offs and valet parking. Reintroducing the automobile makes the site approachable, lively and functional. The permitting Beginning in the 1970s, the federal government began ceding control of federal lands and waterways to the District, including the Washington Channel. Local control made the project feasible for HMW. Permitting involved a complex web of agencies and authorities. Reagan International Airport is nearby and it was necessary to get a permit from the Federal Aviation Administration to introduce building cranes. In what may be a marina industry first, permission to extend the development out into the Federal Channel required an act of Congress. The grants The project greatly benefited from a series of grants from the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. Grant funding has financed at least 50% of the costs of the 30-slip visitor marina, the eight-slip mooring field and a paddlecraft day dock. Grant funding also enabled the purchase and operational costs of a vessel-sewage pumpout boat. Funding came from three programmes: .71 million from the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG); nearly ,000 from the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program (CVA); and 8,000 from the Boating Access Grant Program (BAG). HMW noted that the grants enabled the architects and builders to maintain high standards of quality, including surfaces and finishes throughout The Wharf. Conclusions The Wharf is impossible to relate in one article, but some impressions stand out. The Wharf is part of a trend, a worldwide “about face” in which cities embrace their waterfront and discover its potential. The location in the heart of Washington DC is spectacular. The architecture, history, art and culture of the District attracts 20 million visitors a year. To Americans, the Capitol, the National Mall and the Memorials are sacred ground. The Wharf will now be part of that. Making the water primary in the planning, framing the development in the context of a neighbourhood, and the concept of permeability from the city to the water are all pure genius. Phase 1 will be completed soon, in October 2017. Let’s all go. Robert Wilkes writes about the marina industry from Bellevue, Washington State. www.marinaworld.com - July/August 2017 19

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