2009 Project Of The Year
Presented by the American Public Works Association.
The design intention for the site surrounding the I-35W Bridge is one that turns its focus to simplicity. Beauty rises from the simple treatment of bridge and ground plane elements. Natural materials, such as stone, tie the manmade back to the native river gorge environment. Gabion walls hearken to remind the viewer of the river's industrial heritage. The early focus of the project was to draw people to the water's edge - a new public space on the Mississippi River. The steep banks of the floodplain proved to be a design challenge to this goal, but also an opportunity to traverse the dramatic topography of the Mississippi River Floodplain below St. Anthony Falls. Accessible ramps zigzag down slope to expansive plazas at the base of the arching Bridge Piers. The symbol for water, inverted on its side, simply defines the transitions of the road on land to a bridge over water - a sound pairing to the quiet design of the bridge.