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BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

United States Architecture News - Jul 15, 2020 - 12:32   2978 views

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

BIG with Arup, Grimshaw, ScenesLab are among the six finalists for the Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition, which was launched by the Van Alen Institute and New York City Council earlier this year. 

The competition aimed to rethink the iconic Brooklyn Bridge walkway for the future. "The Brooklyn Bridge has the potential to serve as a testing ground for designs that serve our communities in need — not just in an imagined, idealistic future — but now. With these considerations at heart, the six finalist proposals are a compelling and optimistic set of ideas for responsive short-term interventions and longer-term, large-scale reconfigurations of the Brooklyn Bridge."

The Van Alen Institute and New York City Council have announced six finalists - one group was selected in the Young Adult category (ages 21 and under) and the other group was selected in the Professional category (ages 22 and up).

The finalists will present their proposals on Thursday, July 23 at 6 pm in a virtual Design Showdown. During the event, the public and the competition jury will have the chance to offer feedback and criticism for the teams. 

Each design will also be posted online at Van Alen Institute's website, where the public can cast votes for their favorite proposals between July 23–30. The winner will be announced in late summer.

"As made even more clear by the pandemic, the design of our streets and shared spaces must be responsive to the present moment and work to correct past injustices. They must foster equitable, accessible, and sustainable transportation options, create a healthy and safe environment for all New Yorkers, and opportunities for small businesses and vendors to flourish," said the competition's website.

Scroll down to see the proposals with their short descriptions below:


Finalists in the Professional category

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

Back to the Future; BIG + ARUP, New York. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Back to the Future

BIG + ARUP, New York

"Back to the Future seeks to return the bridge to its original state, both architecturally and functionally, and pilots innovations in autonomous mobility and public space design. By removing cars and related ramps, and providing more space for pedestrians, bikes and transit, this proposal moves more people and creates a stronger connection between Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and beyond."

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

Bridge X; ScenesLab + Minzi Long + Andrew Nash, New York, Boston, and Vienna. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Bridge X

ScenesLab + Minzi Long + Andrew Nash, New York, Boston, and Vienna

"Bridge X proposes a Brooklyn Bridge that evolves in response to public feedback and adapts from a pandemic to a post-pandemic era. Through a phased approach, Bridge X reimagines the upper and lower decks to reclaim space for greater pedestrian and cyclist access, to make room for vendors and small businesses, and to offer new modes of engagement with the bridge. Digital tools and design interventions enable visitors to more easily access, explore, and reflect on their experiences of the bridge."

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

Brooklyn Bridge Forest; Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw and Silman; New York and Montreal. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Brooklyn Bridge Forest

Pilot Projects Design CollectiveCities4ForestsWildlife Conservation SocietyGrimshaw and Silman; New York and Montreal

"Brooklyn Bridge Forest reimagines the bridge as an icon of climate action and social equity, improving mobility while respecting the landmark structure. The historic wooden walkway is expanded using planks sustainably sourced from a partner community in Guatemala that protects a 200,000-acre rainforest. A dedicated bike path and reclaimed traffic lane create new space for cyclists and low-carbon transit, while biodiverse “microforests” at either end of the bridge bring nature to New York City and serve as green spaces for underserved communities."

Finalists in the Young category

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

The Artery; Lukas Kugler, New Milford, CT. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

The Artery

Lukas Kugler, New Milford, CT

"With sensitivity to different user groups, The Artery creates a contiguous modern transportation corridor between boroughs. On the bridge, the design incorporates designated spaces for vendors and three separate pathways for cyclists, runners, and pedestrians. The substantial incorporation of greenery provides natural borders between these paths, creating an improved experience while encouraging native plants and wildlife to inhabit the bridge."

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

The Cultural Current; Aubrey Bader and Maggie Redding, Knoxville, TN. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

The Cultural Current

Aubrey Bader and Maggie Redding, Knoxville, TN

"Using a brightly colored path and cultural markers, The Cultural Current proposes a fluid integration of surrounding neighborhoods into a transportation and public space network that crosses the bridge. The proposal uses color in a playful way that’s also helpful for wayfinding, reuses existing wood boards and recycled plastic, and plans to phase car traffic off the lower roadway."

BIG, Arup, Grimshaw among finalists in Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition

Do Look Down; Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim; Hong Kong, Bay Area, CA, and New York. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Do Look Down

Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim; Hong Kong, Bay Area, CA, and New York

"Do Look Down’s installation of a glass surface above the bridge’s girders creates a whimsical new pedestrian space activated through art installations and seasonal programming. The lower roadway is converted into additional walkable and human-powered transport space that also offers opportunities for local vendors and performers. Powered by kinetic paving, an LED and projection system is mobilized to honor the city’s cultures, histories, and identities."

The Juy composed of: Peg Breen; President, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Andrew Brown; Associate Director of Research, Van Alen Institute (non-voting), Marla Gayle; Managing Director, SOM, Hon. Jonathan Gardenhire; Artist & District Leader, NYS Assembly District 65, Part B, Danny Harris; Executive Director, Transportation Alternatives, Helen Ho; Co-Founder, Biking Public Project, Isabella Joseph; Student, Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York, Regina Myer; President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Amy Plitt; Writer and Editor.

> via Van Alen Institute