Architects choose 3 ideas to link park’s east, west sides
By Roger Showley8:49 P.M.DEC. 11, 2013 Updated 7:57 A.M.DEC. 12, 2013
Three ideas for bridging Balboa Park’s east and west sides won top honors Wednesday in an architects’ design competition for creating new gateways to San Diego’s crown jewel.
“Collectively, they captured important goals for the park,” the five-member jury said, “connecting the Central Mesa to the east side of the park and neighborhoods east of the park; addressing the Central Mesa parking needs; activating the former landfill; enhancing pedestrian access along the Prado axis; and helping fulfill the vision of the park’s master plan.”
The local chapter of the American Institute of Architects sponsored the Balboa Park Gate Competition in anticipation of the 2015 centennial of the park’s Panama-California Exposition.
Winners received cash prizes. No funding for actually building any of the proposals has been raised. There were 44 entries, submitted by both registered architects and architectural students, and they are on display into the new year at the San Diego Museum of Art, where the results were announced at a reception.
“As conceptual ideas, they identified many exciting opportunities and offered a stimulating vision for the future,” the jury said.
The three winners, tied for first place, were Pauly De Bartolo and Craig Howard of De Bartolo + Rimanic Design Studio; Wayne Holtan of Domus Studio; and Neil Looney of N. Looney Architecture. They all proposed building a bridge across Florida Canyon, extending the east-west axis of the Laurel Street, Cabrillo Bridge and El Prado.
Second place went to Tony Salamone, Jordan Anderson and Justin Freeman from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design for a fruit tree farm that would be planted at the park’s northern entrance at Park Boulevard and Upas Street.
Special recognition went to five other entrants: Kevin Bussett and four colleagues at Di Donato Associates for architectural monuments and a covered pedestrian walkway; two ideas for streetcars and a tramway from Derek Emery, representing San Diego Historic Streetcars Inc., and Don J. McLaughlin of Place Architecture; David Garcia, heading another team from the NewSchool, for a pedestrian entryway at the south entrance to the park at Park Boulevard and Interstate 5; and Jonathan Chau and other team members for “Soaring Above,” a network of towers.
A 10th award went to architect Jeff Taitano for “Reflections,” a framework on the Park Boulevard bridge over I-5 that has strips of mylar the reflect the city skyline on one side and the park on the other. The award was based on voting by visitors to the art museum.
Jury members were landscape architect Laura Burnett; graphic designer Simon Andrews; local artist Matthieu Gregoire and architects Rob Quigley, designer of the new Central Library, and David Rice, director of architecture and planning at the San Diego Zoo.
Read original article here: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/11/balboa-gateway-architects-bridge/