This week, the city unveiled the three designs competing to replace the Sixth Street Viaduct (the current 1932 bridge, which is landmarked, has concrete cancer--sad). The city intends to make the new bridge an icon and over the summer selected three finalists to compete for design rights: HNTB, AECOM, and Parsons Brinckerhoff. According to the Downtown News, "Each firm placed an emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle access to the two-thirds of a mile span." All three also "reimagine the land beneath the viaduct in the Arts District and in Boyle Heights as active park and plaza spaces." So this is getting pretty exciting!
So far everyone seems most excited about HNTB's design (they worked with Michael Maltzan Architecture, AC Martin, and Hargreaves Associates)--the arch-crazy design echoes the soon-to-be-demolished bridge and just looks damn cool. The repetition in the design would make it more affordable, according to the Architect's Newspaper, and wouldn't look as sleek and perfect as a steel bridge. AECOM's design "was centered on a series of three sculptural steel and inverted cable masts, loosely abstracted from images of angels, with a ribbed concrete structure exposed on its underside"; it'd have a pedestrian path hanging underneath. The Parsons Brinckerhoff design "looks like a bird's wings stretched to fly" and also has a suspended walkway underneath that "would lead to a circular lookout point called the 'nest.'"
The project's design advisory committee will make a recommendation on their favorite design to the Bureau of Engineering, which should make a pick in October. Then various contract stuff and an 18 to 24 month design process starting in January. There are more public meetings over the next week; you can also submit comments online.
· Sixth Street Bridge Designers Dream Big [Downtown News]
· VISIONS OF SIXTH STREET [A/N]
· The 6 Firms Competing to Design the New Sixth Street Bridge [Curbed LA]