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Faculty and alumni among winners in Boston’s Northern Avenue Bridge Ideas Competition

Harvard Graduate School of Design faculty and alumni are among the six winning teams in the Northern Avenue Bridge Ideas Competition, held by the City of Boston and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA). The competition launched in March to provoke ideas for a new bridge connecting the gap between downtown Boston and the Seaport, just north of the Seaport Boulevard/Atlantic Avenue junction. (The current bridge in place is over 100 years old, and its steel structure is extensively corroded; it was closed to all traffic over a year ago.)

A new Northern Avenue bridge would be instrumental in connecting Boston’s downtown with the developing Seaport district, which now boasts a number of new restaurants and public attractions, as well as the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse and proximity to the growing Fort Point neighborhood. The ideas competition called for entries to address three primary themes: history, mobility, and destination.

The competition drew over 100 entries, and the jury named eight winning teams. City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced awardees on Wednesday, May 25 at the Boston Society of Architects’ BSA Space. Walsh joined BSA president Tamara Roy and nearly 200 guests to honor the winners.

Among the winners are:

–  Eric Höweler, assistant professor of architecture, and Meejin Yoon (MAUD ’97), principals at Höweler + Yoon Architecture, with their entry “+(plus) Bridge.” Their design proposes a “+”-shaped bridge comprising layered programming and outdoor spaces, including an art plaza, lookout point, kayak and boat docks, amphitheater, and pedestrian boulevard. Höweler and Yoon worked with Höweler + Yoon Architecture designer Elle Gerdeman (MArch ’14).

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Rendering of “+(plus) Bridge” courtesy Höweler + Yoon Architecture

–  Mazen Sakr (MArch ’09), Alex Anmahian (MArch ’90), and Nick Winton (MArch ’90), who submitted entry “Northern Avenue Botanical Bridge” through firm AW Architects. Their project preserves the Northern Avenue Bridge and transforms it into both an armature for pedestrian travel and a glass-walled greenhouse where botanical gardens and thrive year-round.

The competition’s 16-person jury includes Richard Dimino (LF ‘91), president and CEO of A Better City; Kimberly Driggins (LF ’16), associate director for citywide planning in the District of Columbia's Office of Planning; professor in practice of landscape architecture Gary Hilderbrand (MLA ’85); professor of architecture/director of the Master of Architecture program Grace La (MArch ’95); Sara Myerson (MUP ’11), recently appointed director of planning at the Boston Redevelopment Authority; and Josiah Stevenson (MArch ‘84), principal at Leers Weinzapfel Architects.

“By opening this competition up to the public, we heard from architects, designers, historians and members of our community who took an interest in what the future of the Northern Avenue Bridge should look like,” said Mayor Walsh. “The ideas and conversation that we sparked during the process are tremendously valuable as we take the next step to design a new bridge, and I thank all who participated.”

To learn more, visit BostInno’s coverage of awardees.