WXY's design for a pedestrian bridge reflects new opportunities for the Coney Island entertainment district
Coney Island, New York City’s iconic stretch of urban seaside, has an evocative reputation as the birthplace of American pop culture. This has prompted a wave of new plans for Coney Island’s attractions and its public realm. Among the initial investments were a refurbishment of the Parachute Jump, a new solar subway station and work on two elevated subways by prominent conceptual artists.
WXY was commissioned to design the proposed new pedestrian bridge and pedestrian causeway spanning Surf Avenue at West Eighth Street to connect the West8/Aquarium BMT subway station to the Boardwalk. The bridge and causeway will be a signature structure reflecting new opportunities for the Coney Island entertainment district and the ambitious plans of the nearby New York Aquarium.
The design, commissioned by NYC Department of Design and Construction under the Design Excellence program, has received broad public support, and is to be opened in 2010. For pedestrian safety, the bridge required restrictive enclosure systems and WXY’s design incorporates these constraints to create a fluent structure that relates to the language of the famous Cyclone Rollercoaster close by. The tubular parabolic bridge launches itself across Surf Avenue – becoming the main path for the community access to both Aquarium and beach as well as a new formal and iconic marker signaling the location of the Aquarium.