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.

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