Monday, March 22, 2010

CMLC unveils winning St. Patrick’s bridge design

The new St. Patrick’s bridge design winner has been announced.

It is a lower profile, arched structure that respects the location and aesthetics of St. Patrick’s Island and the Bow River according to The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) which is mandated by The City of Calgary to implement and execute the Rivers District Community Revitalization Plan.

The winning design team is RFR, from Paris, France and Calgary’s Halsall Associates Limited.

“It was a difficult decision,” said Chris Ollenberger, President and CEO of CMLC. “All of the three finalists were engaging in their public presentations and their final submissions reflected their passion for the project. The Board of Directors was very impressed with the sensibility, aesthetics and thematic approach taken by RFR Halsall, but recognized that any one of the three final designs would have been a wonderful addition to Calgary.”

CMLC considered the opinions of Calgarians expressed through more than two thousand comments on the CMLC website and at public presentations last month, as well as listened to the advice of its Advisory Committee and technical experts to ultimately select the RFR Halsall team.

“We’re elated,” said John Ford, an engineer with Halsall Associates Limited in Calgary. “We’re very excited to be part of East Village. We tried to capture what the community wanted and to reflect the unique characteristics of this location.”

Ollenberger said the bridge’s continuous arches emulating a stone skipping across the Bow River resonated with Calgarians. He noted that others saw rolling foothills or the Chinook arch in the profile of the RFR Halsall bridge design.

“It’s that simplicity we were shooting for,” said Ford. “This is validation that our design was understood and really worked.”

The new bridge will feature animated lighting, a visual highlight that makes it an interactive structure. The bridge will replace the existing one, which only partially crosses the river near the west end of St. Patrick’s Island, and will link the island with East Village to the south and Bridgeland to the north.

With the winning concept chosen, detailed design work will begin as well as public consultation on the rejuvenation of St. Patrick’s Island.

CMLC is working towards developing the East Village into a vibrant community that is integrated with the downtown core.

To learn more about the winning bridge design and other East Village redevelopment projects, visit

***Images courtesy of CMLC

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