An international competition to design or a new pier that will redefine St. Petersburgh, Florida’s historic downtown and waterfront has a winner. Los Angeles architect Michael Maltzan’s ‘Lens’ took first place in the competition, which drew interest from 23 global teams. Bjarke Ingles Group’s ‘Wave’ placed second and West 8’s ‘Eye’ placed third.
A five-member jury panel that included Stanley Saitowitz, a South African architect and professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley; James Moore, PhD, a Tampa-based urban designer and former architecture professor at University of Southern Florida; Susan Fainstein, PhD, a Harvard University urban design professor, and two local government officials selected the three finalists. The next step is the ratification of the winning design by the City Council, which will take place on 2nd February.
Maltzan’s design, which features a ribbon-like looped walkway and space for a museum, restaurant or event venue, was also the top pick by the public. Of the 5,000 public comments received, 68% preferred The Lens, 42% liked the Wave and 17% percent favoured The Eye. While the design is estimated to cost 25% more than the $45m budgeted, it is anticipated that it can be scaled back and the pier shortened without changing the vision.
City council will now vote to accept or reject the design. If rejected, the city will start from scratch. If approved the demolition of the existing pier and construction will take place within the 2013-2015 timeframe.