Bee Breeders has revealed the winners of the Gauja National Park Footbridge competition. The Nature Conservation Agency of Latvia paired up with Bee Breeders to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Latvia's largest national park. Teams were asked to create a footbridge marking the park's entry to serve as an architectural landmark that adds to the park's existing collection of 500 cultural and historical monuments, including medieval castles and towns.
As the organizers state, The competition called for a footbridge which can span an existing roadway, at an elevation high enough to allow cars and trucks to pass below. The submissions responded with an extensive array of design concepts. Several sought means of introducing verticality into the design to offer viewing platforms. Others focused on drawing from natural forms or elements, such as leaves, trees, and hills. A broad range of material and structural concepts were tested, including cable-supported decks, simple horizontal slabs, and systems supported by trusses.
1st Prize Winner
Abraham Fung designed the winning proposal, "Flow: Between City and River." As he said, "I’m from Toronto, I lived and worked in Hong Kong, studied in Vienna, and now based in Sydney, Australia. When asked why he participates in architectural competitions, Abraham stated that he sees them as a test and as a means to train instincts and refine intuition.
2nd Prize Winner
Paul Kaloustian Studio is a Beirut based architecture and design practice working on different scaled projects ranging from buildings to interiors. As Paul said, "competitions allow us to focus on the experimental, for me it is a challenge revolving around re-questioning boundaries and norms of the discipline. These competitions present the opportunity to work on concepts, and make participants demonstrate their vision."
3rd Prize Winner
Designed by Michel Boucquillon and Donia Maaoui, the Bark Bridge was made to be a suspended tree trunk walkway through the national park.
BB Green Award
Gauja Park Gateway was designed by Inness Yeoman from the Mackintosh School of Architecture.
The jury members sought solutions with structural integrity, those that could offer pedestrians unique opportunities for viewing, as well as those with the potential to become a symbolic new entry and exit point for visitors traveling through the park by vehicle. Sustainable and minimally invasive proposals were looked highly upon. When designing a pedestrian bridge, architects often focus on complex formal solutions to solve the rather simple problem of spanning a gap to connect point A with point B. The jury felt strongly that the most successful forms were those that also offered experiential new ways of discovering the park.
News via Bee Breeders