THE LENS by Michael Maltzan Architecture wins St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition

St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition Finalists©Michael Maltzan Architecture
The Judging Panel has selected “The Lens” design by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Tom Leader Studio. The City Council will hold a workshop to decide if they accept the panel’s decision and to engage the winner in the next stage of developing the design.

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)

St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition Finalists©Michael Maltzan ArchitectureSt.Petersburg Pier Design Competition Finalists©Michael Maltzan Architecture

St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition Finalists©Michael Maltzan Architecture

St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition Finalists©Michael Maltzan Architecture

SOURCE: Tampabay Times

About Damian Holmes 3308 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at


  1. I do not understand why your reflecting so much hate into this project. If you want the majority of people to understand what it is you are trying to say then be more elaborate and easier with your audience. Write your words carefully. Remember the rule?  Know your audience? Use a vocabulary the audience understands. They must include the good and the bad and then voice your position.The readers will make his or her own opinion. 
    Plus I do not understand why you think this design would age badly. Architects and the urbanist designers of today should have all that figured out. at least I hope so. I believe change is good and as long as it is good for all and not just some.
    I think the design is fabulous and will bring in tourists from everywhere for years to come.  Plus, this job will create more jobs. Change can be good.

  2. congratullations, this is great, modern approach, interesting visualizations noyhing more nothing less in polish “nic dodać nic ująć”

  3. Big words don’t create big ideas.
    I personally think it works very well for their purpose.
    Visually it is enticing to the NON architect, which was the original prompt for this project; to increase revenue from visitors.

  4. The outer bowl with the protruding pieces is incredibly inelegant and unnecessary; it’s as much of an “icon” as the other two. I know the lens metaphor is now enshrined in every landscape urbanists design lexicon and is a prerequisite for winning competitions these days but a literal lens implanted into the water complete with a unsympatheticly domineering structure and the usual spurious guff about ecological, economic and “urban” renewal…come on…This will age badly and it’s a shame the jury have fallen for it.I look forward to the next hackneyed interpretation by designers of Foucauldian concepts.

  5. WOW THAT IS SOMETHING REALLY INCREDIBLE. Great for St. Petersburg and the region of Tampa Bay. No wonder why Mayor Foster hasn’t had time for the rays Stadium issue. He will get to it eventually. I still think that the Al Lang area would be perfect for an Urban City Ball park like in SF or Baltimore 

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