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Tuesday 02.12.08

« Observations from the Nicoya Peninsula | Main | Nick Cave et al at Reed »

PORT's Bridge Design Contest: Awards

Sure the cost for a new light rail and pedestrian bridge is high, this should be expected as transit projects are never cheap but if Portland gets a new bridge over the Willamette it should embody the green and design ideals that Portland holds so dear.

I'm also concerned that the even more important I-5 bridge over the Columbia is being designed on a cost basis not for its design excellence (aesthetic & functional capacity) or green properties. Still, that is a different bridge (expect to more on it here, issues over height need to go away too). Will Portland Spaces Magazine tackle that puppy?.

ZGF's (very preliminary) design

Last fall we weren't that impressed with ZGF's initial design for a pedestrian and light rail bridge across the Willamette so PORT opened up a little design competition to our readers just to move the ideas forward. Here is what they offered (note this is just pure design, no considerations for cost, engineering, ergonomics or physics were taken into account):

Sean Casey was the first one to hit upon the Bridge/Park/Island combination and his design wins the coveted "Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Waters" award (sorry it had to be done).

Brad Carlile had some nice looking designs. I particularly liked the nighttime Jennifer Steinkamp style video projections element. Brad wins the "since people aren't driving cars on a pedestrian bridge they wont crash while looking at the cool video" award.

Michael DiTullo's Bridge is dynamic with nice copper flashing details on the edges that reference our stunning St. Johns Bridge. He rightly makes a bridge that runners would love to visit and gets the "Fit and Sexy" award

Similar but more extensive than Casey's design, Bill Badrick also hits upon bridge as park option. The tower seems to be child of Foster's Gherken and the Eiffel tower, he also added cars. Bill wins the coveted "Put Paradise On Top Of A Parking Lot" award.

Josh Arseneau's design incorporates features of preexisting Portland bridges like the steel bridge marrying it to more current cable stayed designs. Josh (who has his best show to date at Jace Gace this month) wins the "Something Borrowed Something Blue To Cross A River With Something New" award.

Matthew Hampton, who did not design this bridge, felt a windmill bridge offered some interesting promise as a green, energy producing icon for the city of Portland. Important ideas worth considering.

Gallerist Jane Beebe also felt a bridge with a series of changing art exhibition spaces would also be worth persuing. I agree, activating a bridge as an experience rather than just a convenience of conveyance is a way to make a bridge more than just a bridge.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 12, 2008 at 12:07 | Comments (0)


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