From an aesthetic standpoint, Atlanta's favorite multi-lane parking lot could be in for some drastic improvements. As part of an ongoing effort to "elevate the experience of travelers along the Connector," the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition launched earlier this year, soliciting concepts from qualified architects for two prominent bridges: the 10th Street bridge in Midtown and the Courtland Street/Ralph McGill Boulevard bridge in downtown. The jury has returned, and the verdict includes five finalists (three for the Midtown project) and some fairly wild and awesome concepts. Designs range from a futuristic ribcage to what looks like a gigantic amoeba.
Not all of the designs have gone public yet, but they will soon. Midtown Alliance officials, who partnered with Central Atlanta Progress for the competition, said the finalists will be displayed at a Cornerstone Village storefront (800 Peachtree St., Suite D) in Midtown. The second phase, officials said, is already under way. Shortlisted teams are being asked to develop their ideas further, including details on the bridges' feasibility for implementation, based on a budget of $3 million max. Winners will be announced May 12.
The winning designs will also be unveiled in grand fashion at the 2015 National Convention of the American Institute of Architects, held here next month with a keynote by President Bill Clinton.
The bridge competition is part of the broader I-75/85 Connector Transformation Project, an initiative meant to visually enhance the Connector and, eventually, address issues with connectivity, pedestrian and bicycle mobility and sustainability.
Improvements for two Peachtree Street bridges that cross the Connector — one near Brookwood, the other downtown — are expected to begin this year. Let's do this.
· Finalists chosen in connector bridge design competition [Midtown Alliance]
· The Atlanta Bridgescape Competition [Website]
· Push to Beautify Connector Bridges is now a Competition [Curbed]