Let's face it, the Connector is not known for its stunning scenery or visual appeal. The swath of snooze-worthy concrete that bisects the city doesn't do a whole lot to entice passersby to stop in and see what Atlanta has to offer. But what if that could change? The Atlanta Connector Project thinks it can. It aims to "elevate the experience" of the more than 300,000 travelers who use the Connector every day and improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists. How? For starters, by prettying up some of the bridges... we're talking things like dramatic arches, lighting, unique landscaping and public art — maybe even (gasp) some pedestrian promenades. Starting tomorrow, May 9, the Connector Project's Bridgescape Competition will reveal the five designs it has selected as finalists for Midtown's 10th Street Bridge and downtown's Courtland Street/Ralph McGill Boulevard Bridge. The public is invited to vote on the short-listed designs through May 14.
You can vote online through the competition website or go to the open house reception on May 12 to cast your vote in person and meet the short-listed design teams responsible for the concepts. Registration is required for the event, which will be held in the storefront at 800 Peachtree Street.
Let's set the record straight though: Regardless of how you vote, you're not actually deciding on the design. The final say belongs to a "jury of esteemed designed professionals" (you didn't really think they'd leave that up to Joe Public, did you?). Competition manager Tony Rizzuto, Department of Architecture Chair at Kennesaw State University, said in a press release: "We are confident that the jury will choose the best design for each bridge taking into consideration key issues like connectivity, pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and sustainability in the context of the overarching Connector Vision plan and project budget."
Design teams were expected to create concepts that could be enhance the existing infrastructure and be feasibly implemented for $3 million or less per bridge. Winning designs will be announced on May 15 at the 2015 National Convention of the American Institute of Architects.
· Five Finalists Picked for Connector Bridges Overhaul [Curbed Atlanta]
· Finalists chosen in connector bridge design competition [Midtown Alliance]
· The Atlanta Bridgescape Competition [Website]
· Push to Beautify Connector Bridges is now a Competition [Curbed]