The St. Petersburg City Council has approved Rogers Partners, Ken Smith and ASD's "Pier Park" redesign, allocating funds towards demolition of the current pier and pre-construction work. The design, selected through a city-sponsored competition, will replace "an aging icon" - a 1970s inverted pyramid structure that occupies the pier's head - and focus on integrating flexible, community-oriented program throughout the site and surrounding area.
“Each of the pier’s past incarnations had its own set of programs and uses, some more ambitious than others,” commented John Curran, studio leader at ASD and lead project manager for the new pier. “The ones that succeeded appealed to both visitors and residents, and were active day and night, throughout the year. This flexibility was essential to our approach to the new design.”
"Our design reconnects The Pier to the daily life of the city, tying into the city’s transportation and recreation systems (bike paths, jogging trails, parking location, and public transit systems) as well as the overlay of new transport options like the Looper Trolley and a potential high-speed ferry," adds Robert M. Rogers, founder of Rogers Partners. "Rather than a singular and heavily programmed destination at the pier head, it is a platform for a multitude of smaller and more flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community – from children to seniors, nature lovers to boaters, fishermen to fine diners. It is a hub for activity, not only at the pier head, but all along its length. The Pier does not take you to a place – the pier is the place. It is THE PIER PARK."
“The nation’s great successful urban parks accommodate changes over time... The New St. Petersburg pier can be successful for generations, because it can be rich in use now, in twenty years, in fifty, and in seventy five.”
Pier Park's approval comes a few years after the city's failed attempt to implement a competition-winning design by Michael Maltzan Architecture that was rejected by the public. Demolition to make way for Rogers and ASD's proposal is expected to complete by the end of this year.