The jury evaluating the proposals is comprised of: Stanley Saitowitz, a South African architect and an architecture professor from University of California, Berkeley; James Moore, PhD, a Tampa-based urban designer and former architecture and design professor at USF; Susan Fainstein, PhD, a Harvard University urban design professor; City Council Member Leslie Curran and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.
The new Pier is not an icon unto itself. It is instead a lens that frames the City’s relationship to the water, changing how St. Petersburg views its present and its future. While the Pier will remain an important attraction for visitors, we believe that the Pier must be first for the people of St. Petersburg, an active, vital part of the City’s life and culture. Operating on multiple scales of renewal—individual, urban, economic, ecological—this new Pier serve as a new kind of fountain of youth for St. Petersburg and its citizens, a symbol of the renewed vitality of the City, a platform for continued growth, and a destination within the City, the region, and our nation. - Michael Maltzan Architecture (Competition Entry Design Statement)
Aerial image of the park with phase II amphitheater by Kennedy Violich Architecture
Tom Leader Studio(TLS) spent five years working extensively with a public / private partnership to build this downtown central park and master plan the rail corridor. TLS managed a large team of consultants including multiple architects, local landscape architect, and engineers. Abandoned rail lines are a constant theme in all of our work today. This project celebrates the active participation of 11 tracks of well-loved trains that slowly lumber through this downtown on a viaduct. The park site is a former warehouse and brick-making site and much of the park is formed with materials recovered from historic uses. The park is four blocks long by one block wide and was historically, the lowest point in town. The scheme draws on this ample water in creating a large reservoir for irrigation which also discharges through a stream and series of ponds as a summer fountain. Needed floodwater storage is created by excavating for this water system, using the spoils to create a series of knolls along the rail viaduct. The “Rail Trail”, located atop this little mountain range is a series of on-grade and bridge connections which allow train-spotting up close, views over downtown and of the frequent large music events and parties within the park. The park contains performance venues of varying scales from small to extra large such as the annual “Crawfish Boil” attracting 30,000 music fans. Noisy or quiet, day or night, the park is only completed by the industrial ballet of freight cars slowly rolling in both directions.
RIVERFIRST restores and expands the idea of confluence to include the joining of healthy bio-filtered storm water tributaries with the river, flows of transportation and information, flows of people, capital and green revenue sources. We join renewal of the Minneapolis riverfront with municipal needs to grow a green economy, provide jobs, join communities with healthy local food and improve the ecological health of the Mississippi River in the 21st century. Continue reading MRDC | TLS/KVA: RIVERFIRST