Space for life to happen
In early 2017, GT Bynum, City of Tulsa mayor, charged the city with producing design ideas for a new pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas River. The new pedestrian bridge would replace an unsuitable existing bridge, connecting the extensive trail system along east and west sides of the Arkansas River. The new pedestrian bridge would also serve as a connection point to the future Gathering Place Park, the largest privately funded park in United States history. The cities guidelines state the bridge design should include: an iconic, Tulsa style; it must relate to its context and neighbors; and it should have a chief focus of pedestrian and bicycle use.
The design submitted illustrates a bridge that carefully considers the human experience. As a true extension of the park systems the bridge ties into, the bridge does not simply move people across, but instead promotes curiosity and discovery. Rather than design a structure to impress and overshadow its context, the design encourages a space for life to happen.
The central spine of the bridge acts as the collector, gently moving the various users from one space to another. Side paths promote exploration, changing in elevation for user interest, introducing users to seating areas for relaxation and congregation.