Surfing the walk wave
If we could fast forward to 50 years from now, what would Brooklyn Bridge be? The rapid change in environmental politics, together with the will to preserve the bridge, will transform it into a new public space, rather than the overcrowded route that is today. What was once built as an infrastructure could become one day the most important cultural venue in NYC.
For Brooklyn Bridge, we envision a unique linear experience marked by slowness and entertainment. New spaces located on both sides will create a never seen dialogue between the infrastructural nature of the bridge and its brand new urban vibe. The physical and perceptive separation from vehicles will change people’s attitudes towards the space, letting them enjoy a variety of leisure activities and extraordinary views. The overall intervention will not be just a connection, but an opportunity to create a unique, vibrant and safe space in NYC.
By expanding the width of walkways and freeing a reserved lane for bikes and electric scooters, commuters can travel at speed with safety. The new decks will provide large spaces where tourists and newyorkers can spend time. The bridge will become a new urban park, connected to Manhattan and Brooklyn, but exposed to sun and breeze like nowhere on-land. Users will spend more of their time enjoying the purest air coming from the sea.
The central lane, currently lowered by 4 ft in comparison to the side beams, will become a continuous and wavy ramp that stretches up and down. By doing that, the original morphology of the deck will be preserved, while enhancing accessibility for everyone. An accurate approach to user needs is visible in the absence of steps and stairs along the entire bridge.
The tower top on Brooklyn side will become accessible as a new viewpoint. An elevator will go directly from Dumbo park to the top. From there, a walkable net will be disposed between the two main central cables descending towards Manhattan. This will become a ramp made of a net mesh and accessible by foot, that will be walkable downwards to the bridge. The program will allow vehicle traffic to continue its run below the new decks. In the future traffic lanes will be replaced and new space will be made available for other uses.
In a city where almost everything is replaced over time, Brooklyn Bridge will stand forever. Our work will represent a model for a rational and respectful approach to historical monuments preservation and regeneration. Future projects in contexts like this will refer to this work as an example of sensible design, and they will find space in the city without overwhelming the existent assets. With both NYC citizens and tourists in mind, the project will transform the bridge into an inspiring and intriguing space. In an ever-changing city, this monument will always convey a sense of persistence for local citizens.