Designs for second Bow bridge unveiled
35 concepts vying for $25M project
The design contest for a pedestrian bridge at East Village pits towering structures versus sleek ones and the engineers of famous landmarks against Calgary architects who have never befo re dabbled in bridgemaking.
The city-owned agency behind the East Village redevelopment quietly released 35 competing concepts on its website Tuesday.
The island-hopping bridge over the Bow River is a sequel of sorts to Eau Claire’s tubular Peace Bridge by Santiago Calatrava, a project city hall didn’t open to competition.
But unless a similar redsteel curving cylinder wins out — pitched by a Texas firm — the St. Patrick’s Island bridge will be a vastly different structure.
Marvin DeJong, who hasn’t designed a bridge since a contest at his university 20 years ago, pitched a low twin arch with cables, with hooklike ribs along its winding platform.
“The S-turn makes it more of an experience to walk across,” said the principal of residential design specialist DeJong Design Associates.
Even if his small Calgary firm doesn’t win the competition, DeJong said it’s a rare chance to have his work stand alongside that of world-renowned architects.
The open contest received a Golden Gate-styled design from an Austrian firm, and another that features two leaning cable-stayed towers that look like mountains, from a California designer.
Another entry boasts a low span with multiple onramps and a tower with solar panels that fuel the bridge lights. It’s by Marc Boutin, the Calgarian behind the Peace Pole unveiled Sunday in Eau Claire.
“ I don’t think we would have got what we did out of this competition without the discussion that occurred over the Calatrava bridge,” said Chris Ollenberger of the Calgary Municipal Land Corp., which is running the contest.
His agency will host an open house next month to let the public see the concepts up close — in addition to commenting online — before the corporation’s advisory group determines a short list and eventual winning design.
The bridge, from East Village to the north bank near Bridgeland, with a stop on St. Patrick’s Island, is estimated to cost $ 25 million, depending on the design. The agency will pay for its 2011 construction through a special infrastructure fund for East Village renewal. It expects to recoup the costs through property taxes and land sales.
Manu Chugh Architects, another local firm without experience in bridge design, submitted a design with low wavelike arches meant to complement the Bow River’s gentle flow.
Arup, t he i nternational engineering giant behind Sydney’s Opera House and other renowned works, collaborated on three designs, including one with Calgarybased Kasian. Its dominated by squiggly arches meant to look like the motions of flyfishers.
Many designs pay tribute to the Bow’s shape, while others clearly took inspiration from Calatrava’s harp-like cable bridges, Ollenberger said.
Buckland and Taylor Ltd. submitted this design in the competition for a new East Village pedestrian bridge at St. Patrick’s Island.
Rosales and Partners — Schlaich Bergermann and Partner Joint Venture Et Al., created this breezy design.
IBI Group envisions this curved structure.
Delcan & DTAH’s design consists of bold lines and dramatic flourishes.