Competition: 2nd Place
City of Aurora
Spanning the Fox River in downtown Aurora, the River Edge Pedestrian Bridge will not only serve as a critical pedestrian and bicycle connection between communities, but also as an incubator for reinvestment and growth in the historic downtown. The ability of River Edge Bridge to entice users to return to the bridge and continue to explore River Edge Park and Aurora will depend on the success of spanning scales from the distant sculptured object to the intimate level of the user traversing the Fox River on the bridge, integrating all components into a single entity. The bridge and park must link with its surrounding neighborhoods, and most importantly be a seamless entity breathing life back into Downtown Aurora.
The circle, used as a symbol of unity and connection between the new park plazas and community spaces on both sides of the river, emphasizes the park’s intimate embrace with the river, while also delineating the urban to ecological edge transition northward out of the city. The resultant radial alignment is strengthened both literally and figuratively by the placement of mast peak at the center point of the main span. As an expression of balance, the mast base is shifted off-center, inclining the mast to the moment of inertia and shifting out of the main channel of boat traffic. A hyperbolic stay pattern unifies the deck and mast, melding the horizontal and vertical, thus encouraging movement along the span. The cantilevered deck opens to the south opening views towards downtown, while stays layer and screen views of the natural setting to the north.