Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rehabilitated Point State Park Inspires Design Competition!

Principal in Charge Marion Pressley and Project Manager Andy Elliot have been hard at work to rehabilitate Pittsburgh's iconic Point State Park. 10 years of research and planning have come to fruition as ground broke for the final phase of construction in November 2011. The 37-acre park was originally designed by Ralph Griswold and Charles M. Stotz and was built from 1954-1974. Placed at the confluence of Pittsburgh's three famous rivers, the park commemorates the historic Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt, marking the site of several battles of the French and Indian War.

As the impressive rehabilitation of Point State Park reaches its culmination, designers are finding inspiration in the park landscape and its unique urban setting. The energy and excitement of the nearly complete park has served as a springboard for Portal to the Point, a competition addressing the tunnel beneath Portal Bridge. The bridge was constructed in 1963, bisecting the park. Park users can walk under the bridge, crossing a pedestrian bridge that spans a shallow reflecting basin. However, it is not a space where you want to linger; instead it functions as a dark void in the bustling park.

Drawing from the reignited enthusiasm for the newly rehabilitated park, designers must find ways to enliven the tunnel, transforming it from a void in the landscape into an engaging portal that draws visitors through the space. Visit http://www.portaltothepoint.org/ for more information on the competition and to view the finalists!

It's exciting not only to see 10 years of hard work come to life at Point State Park but also to see how, as designers, we can inspire others to think about space and what makes a landscape unique. It makes us wonder... what inspires you?

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