The annual Cleveland Design Competition, organized by architects Micahel Christoff and Bradley Fink, called on designers to imagine a revitalized Detroit-Superior Bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River. The jury unanimously awarded first prize to two submissions that highlighted the bridge as a catalyst for urban reinvigoration.
“Transforming The Bridge” asked competitors to redesign the abandoned lower deck of the bridge, also known as Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown Cleveland with its industrial Flats neighborhood and west side.
“Bridgewalk” from New York’s Archilier Architecture (represented by Kai Sheng, Donghwan Moon, Changoso Park and Tinxing Tao) divided the bridge, which they called “vital connective tissue,” into three strata—skywalk, bridgewalk, and riverwalk—and five zones linked to the planned Cuyahoga Towpath Trail. From the project description:
“A continuous pedestrian pathway, beginning at the river’s edge, climbs through the bridge structure emerging at the crest of the arch to enjoy spectacular views of downtown Cleveland and Lake Superior [sic].”
Austin’s Ashley Craig, Edna Ledesma and Jessica Zarowitz celebrated the public space another way. “SuperiorPoint-scape” would reinvent the bridge as a destination for education and physical activity. Their interventions are intentionally minimal, according to the submission description, but emphasize water systems from the Cuyahoga River below to added elements along the bridge’s lower deck itself.