Originally Posted by mwalker_mw
The bridge itself really is quite striking - both technically and aesthetically.
I do feel that the approaches on either side could use some work to make it feel more integrated as well as improving flow. The exits right now seem like they will cause numerous bottlenecks as cyclists and pedestrians combine - I would think one would want a taper in and out of the bridge and the circle area on the South side is just asking for trouble. Going beyond function, it would be nice if the colouring and structural elements were to flow out into the pathways on either sides, perhaps helical brick patterns with red & white tones or something similar. Having such a visually striking structure flow out onto bare asphalt seems like a really poor choice. Right now it feels like it is a foreign object sitting on top of the landscape rather than becoming part of it.
All in all very nice though.
It's nice to see some positives and some negatives about this design. I think that's the great thing about good architecture... it's supposed to cause some commotion... and stir up a little controversy.. regardless of design, this project was marked by many citizens off the get go.. but that aside, I think this design, based on the criteria the City gave Calatrava... is a success.
For the most part, this design is the original design. There was some discussion and some ideas thrown in with regards to height, arch, layout etc. But this was the cleanest way to go without making it look overdone. People have to appreciate this design for it's simplicity sometimes... and admire it for it's complexities at the same time.
The only thing I think should get re-worked (and it doesnt have anything to do with the bridge) is to go with the original landscaping plan at the entrances... I was told the paths were done on purpose to create a direct entrance.. but I've seen some original concepts where the paths to the bridge "swoop" or "flow" into the bridge like an offramp... this is more direct.. more like an intersection.. you either turn onto the bridge or continue going. Perhaps there needs to be a mini plaza/entry feature/gathering space on the Memorial Dr side of the river.. perhaps this was the whole plan.. just to make this bridge fit in without causing a stir... many cities have reception areas for their landmarks... we'll just pretend and party like it doesnt phase us...
One thing though... I'm a little curious of the clearance under the bridge.. it looks deceptive from the renderings, but it looks rather low..