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Wednesday 04.22.09

« community culture | Main | pnca + mocc part iv »

Design Competition for I-5 crossing... Now

sheikh-zayed-bridge_zaha_hadid.jpg
Zaha Hadid's Shiekh Zayed Bridge... it is still time to up the ante on the new I-5 Columbia River crossing

So the Oregonian has continued to report on Sam Adams and the Columbia River Crossing without much critical authority here (because they don't have an architecture critic and need one desperately). For example they fail to note that major architects have built better and quite iconic bridges without tall features like the Hadid designed one above.

Basically, the proposed design is laughably bad (I've called it a casino in the past) and proves the design process is broken and backwards... overall requiring a fix. Why? because the architects involved are clearly out of their league, designing an inelegant and patronizing monstrosity that resembles the car Homer Simpson designed (The Homer).... essentially decoupling aesthetic form from function. Major architects know better, hell even minor ones do.

I've said this before but what is needed for the I-5 Columbia River Crossing is a design competition. Simply allocate a half million+ or so for a competition of top talents rather than continuing to waste millions on pathetic attempts that Portland won't get behind, ever. Architects like Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, MVRDV, and UN Studio would all be great at finding innovative new solutions that would improve the bridge in profound ways aesthetically as well as functionally (the two are intimately related in good designs). The CRC is too complicated a project to trust to anyone but the brightest architectural minds available and we continue to encourage Adams to advocate for a better bridge with the somewhat obvious suggestion of getting better brains involved. Frankly, both the Mayor of Portland and Mayor of Vancouver should welcome a serious architect so that they, not the politicians are in a position to sell the design to the public.

Update: Here's Sam Adam's letter... Still the fundamental problem here is the utter lack of architectural talent. Oh and the Oregonian is finally catching up to PORT after nearly a year, better late than never... honestly it's the result that matters. Design competition NOW.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 22, 2009 at 13:00 | Comments (2)


Comments

Here's my entry:

http://csaesaeny.blogspot.com/2008/07/columbia-river-crossing-concept.html

I say retro-fit what's there. Why make it easier on cars? They've done enough damage.

Posted by: Sean Casey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2009 09:14 PM

Wow.

Your are not kidding when you say that is "laughably bad."

I wasn't aware anyone could propose a plan so cliche, unexciting, and just flat out cheesy.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2009 11:42 PM

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