I am excited to announce that our competition entry was awarded an honorable mention at the 2012 Cleveland Design Competition Awards Exhibition and Reception.
Our concept for the Detroit-Superior Bridge was all about "Putting Cleveland in Focus:"
The city of Cleveland has recently experienced a promising amount of redevelopment within a close proximity to downtown which has spurred numerous nodes of vibrant pedestrian activity. The investments in East 4th Street & other similar areas have attracted a young market group to move into downtown apartments which is supporting a growing nightlife around Public Square and similar circumstances are improving Ohio City as well. One can also see a re-emergence of The Flats in the redevelopment of the East Bank. Although historic locations such as Terminal Tower and the West Side Market have proven their ability to sustain activity through certain hours of the day, this second layer of activity is beginning to fill in the gaps. This renewal is a refreshing indication of positive change in the life of the urban fabric.
Although these enhancements are proving their ability to succeed and making strong efforts to connect to and improve the existing fabric around them, they are still fragmented by underdeveloped areas, undulating topography, the Cuyahoga River and a sheer lack of walkable connections. At an urban scale, this phenomenon translates as the individual pixels of a broader image. Without enough supporting pixels, the image of the city becomes less defined, hence the notation of ‘A Pixelated City.’ Our vision is to utilize the prime location of the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge and adjacent public sites to create numerous essential connections that cater to the bicycling and pedestrian communities so that Cleveland may once again be seen in focus. By unifying the isolated pixels in the area, the bridge and connecting elements will become a fertile network upon which future development will thrive.
While bridging a gap, few instances allow the opportunity to actually consider ‘the gap.’ In this proposal, this previously isolated area (neglected by the Shoreway and Red Line Bridges) acts as a catalyst for development by establishing a rich ecosystem, public access, and economic development. These connections are established directly, through a vertical core and recreational rockwall; visually, through pixel viewing platforms; and physically, with bike and pedestrian friendly paths.
Surrounding investments, such as East 4th Street and Ohio City have attracted a young professional market to live downtown, which is supporting a new type of economy. One can also see a re-emergence of the once-booming Flats in the redevelopment of the East Bank. Although historic locations such as Terminal Tower and the West Side Market have proven their ability to sustain activity over the years, this second layer of activity is beginning to fill in the gaps and re-establish the sense of pride and identity that the city of Cleveland has to offer.
Brandon E. Young