Canal Park | Washington D.C.

Canal Park in Washington DC is a new community gathering place in the fast growing mixed-use Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Opened to the public in November 2012, the urban park offers a variety of amenities, some of which include a seasonal ice skating rink, play and performance areas, and a full service restaurant. The park's development authority, in partnership with the local business district, will host numerous events throughout the year such as movies, concerts, farmer's markets, and expositions, creating a destination place for local residents and tourists alike. City Elements columns and bollards provide illumination for evening activities, while contributing to the overall structure of the landscape, making this our latest featured project.
Designed with sustainability in mind, the former brownfield aims to be a "zero energy" site. It incorporates innovative water reclamation and treatment techniques, twenty-eight geothermal wells for power, and energy efficient, low wattage ceramic metal halide in City Elements columns and bollards. Canal Park is currently a candidate for LEED Gold certification. It is also a pilot project for The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITESTM), a voluntary set of guidelines and benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction, and maintenance practices.

Further Information


Click on the links below for further information on the City Elements modular light column system.

Design language of materials, plantings, and lighting

Each of the three blocks in the park serves distinct functions within the overall visitor experience. They are tied together visually through a cohesive design language of materials, plantings, and lighting. An outdoor plaza and looping waterway located in southern-most block transforms into an ice rink during the winter months. Fifteen foot tall, nine inch diameter City Elements columns (CE230) line the ice rink to provide illumination for the skaters. The perimeter columns are configured with an asymmetric top element lamped with 70w ceramic metal halide sources to provide the right amount of light for safety and security. Each column also includes a speaker element to provide music for the enjoyment of the visitors.
The central block includes a children's play area, pavilion, and a small performance stage, while the northern block is more informal with plenty of grass, trees, and open spaces. City Elements columns continue the lighting design theme, while adding structure to the relatively two dimensional spaces. The top elements for the columns used in these areas have a 360 cylindrical lens with symmetric reflector to fully illuminate the pedestrian space. Columns and bollards at strategic locations include internal GFCI convenience outlets with in-use cover to supply power for events as needed.
At the transitions from one block to the next, City Elements bollards (CE180) with 20w ceramic metal halide delineate service roads that intersect the park to provide illumination for pedestrian safety and security, while highlighting the crosswalks.
Lighting Affiliates in Connecticut assisted the lighting consultant with the initial design and specification. One Source Associates from the Baltimore-Washington territory handled the ordering process. We thank both agencies for their specification efforts and follow through, resulting in a very successful landscape architecture project.