Posts tagged with "Viaducts":

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Triptyque unveils São Paulo's minhocão garden viaduct plans

  Brazilian and French firm Triptyque has unveiled their plans for a 2.2 mile vegetated viaduct in São Paulo, Brazil. Originally constructed in 1971, the Minhocão viaduct paved the way for modern automotive travel within the city. Now, despite being closed to vehicles between 9.30 p.m. and 6.30 a.m. and on all day Sundays, the area has become the heavily polluted.  Triptyque's green solution then, is fitting. As the city attempts to reclaim the highway, leasing it out to pedestrians, Triptyque has proposed lining the viaduct with dashes of greenery and vegetation to make it a more inviting space. Working alongside landscaper Guild Blanche, the scheme focuses on the Minhocão Marquise, the area underneath the roadway itself. Here, they envision a communal space for art, sports, and special events, with Triptyque driving home the idea that color and vibrancy are key components of the project. In doing so, they hope to counter the grayness of São Paulo and create a lively and pedestrian-friendly place. As part of the plan, the Marquise will be divided into blocks, each located within the 108 foot gaps between each pillar. These blocks will be numbered and labeled as the "posts" corresponding the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. As a result, each block will receive four programs: "culture, food, services and shops." These activities will be governed by a public-private partnership in which the São Paulo mayor and city authorities will play a curatorial role and oversee the general scheme. Light is also an important factor. Due to the nature of the site, little daylight enters the space. Vegetation will have to hangover the edges or be suspended in order to grow. This, however, works in the scheme's favor with greenery able to to filter 20% of carbon dioxide pollution from the cars above. Plants will be irrigated via a natural water harvesting system, meanwhile residual/excess water will be used to clean the Marquise surface. https://vimeo.com/160749242
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Anything but boring: World's largest tunnelling machine, Big Bertha, is stuck under Seattle, Tweets an interview

Big Bertha, Seattle's famous tunnel boring machine, is stuck underground again. Bertha was running for just under a month following a two year delay to fix a broken cutter head. And the machine has taken to Twitter, as we imagine it can get lonely so far beneath the city. A little over two weeks ago, a large sinkhole formed while Bertha was drilling the over-57-foot-diameter Highway 99 tunnel to replace the earthquake prone viaduct. No one knows exactly why it happened. Just earlier that day, a nearby Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) barge tilted, offloading tunnel dirt into Elliot Bay and dismantling part of a dock. The 15-foot-deep, 20-feet-wide, and 35-foot-long sinkhole was quickly filled with 250 cubic yards of concrete and sand. But Bertha is still stuck. STP wants to start Bertha again, but the Washington State Department of Transportation (WDOT) hasn't given them the necessary written permission to move forward yet. SDOT says they need more information. But enough of the dismal facts and figures. And now, for something different: The nonprofit blog Strong Towns interviewed @StuckBertha, Bertha's unofficial Twitter account, in January. Enjoy some excerpts from their tongue-in-cheek conversation, below. Check out the full interview on the Strong Towns blog. We all hope Bertha gets unstuck very soon.
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West 8 transforms a town plaza beneath an elevated highway in Belgium

For years, Engels Plein, an "English Square" on the perimeter of Leuven, Belgium, has been dominated by viaducts overhead, making the square poorly accessible, dark, unsafe, and, consequently, rundown. To better connect the surrounding homes and commercial spaces, West 8 transformed the industrial space into an outdoor lounge with multiple terraces that encourage people to live, shop, and work in the area. Leuven, previously an industrial city, is now a center of architectural development and renovation. West 8 won the “negotiated procedure” for Engels Plein in 2010, with a proposal to move the roadway under the viaduct and set-up green zones. The landscape architecture firm worked with BAS, Snoeck en partners, Tritel, ERM, and Betonac on the transformation. Since the square opened in October, its design has demonstrated a new sense of urban-ness with a stronger feeling of security. Engels Plein houses 65 trees, some up to 50 feet tall, giving the square tranquil character and leading drivers through a landscape. Although aesthetically popular, this greenery was actually planted to combat pollution and avoid excess stormwater runoff. Other additions include roundabouts, a decking structure, and concrete edging. The square has an elevator which connects to Keizersberg, a public park with hiking and recreation. New bus routes and cycling and pedestrian paths connect Engels Plein to the railway station and city center. “An attractive district will emerge where living, working and production function in a healthy balance,” West 8 said in a statement.  
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Removal of Vancouver's Viaducts: Making room for housing, culture, and parks

On October 27th, the Vancouver City Council voted 5–4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, making space for housing, culture, and parks. The viaducts were part of a proposed freeway system through East Vancouver in 1971, until residents protested, and the project was abandoned. In June 2013, the city council made a unanimous vote to study the potential impact of removing the viaducts that connect the downtown to neighborhoods on the city’s East side. Since that unanimous vote, city staff consulted communities and studied traffic. Reports show the viaducts hold six-percent of trips to and from downtown, and it would cost $50 to $65 million to make the viaducts earthquake safe. Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a written statement, "There is no decision at the city that has been more scrutinized, studied, deliberated or consulted on than whether or not to remove the viaducts, and after four years, it is time to move forward." To compensate the loss, a four-lane, at-grade road will be built, adding only one to three minutes in vehicle travel time, while the available land becomes thirteen acres of park space. Also, two city blocks will be preserved for housing, providing 300 below-market units. Although the demolition will cost approximately $200 million, the city anticipates a surplus of $100 million by the time the project is complete in 2025. Previously, Toronto leaders voted to preserve their elevated downtown freeway, prioritizing commute time.
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Revive two Detroit viaducts in this Michigander-only contest

A nonprofit in Detroit is calling on artists and designers “to breathe new life into the historical viaducts at Second and Cass Avenue in Midtown.” In partnership with the New Economy Initiative, Midtown Detroit, Inc. will sponsor public art and light installations in the TechTown District of Midtown Detroit. Accepted proposals win $75,000 per viaduct. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 30. Applicants can propose interventions for one or both viaducts. Apply here. The two viaducts, located between Baltimore and Amsterdam Streets in TechTown, were fully operational railroad bridge grade separations. Originally constructed in 1934, they’ve fallen into disrepair. While Detroit’s been happy for international design attention in recent years, this competition has a residency requirement. It’s open to “all professional artists, architects, designers, design firms and/or teams consisting of these entities located in the following eight southeast Michigan counties:  Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne.” Non-residents can join a design team as long as the project lead can prove physical residency in southeast Michigan. Read the full list of guidelines here.