Located at the southern edge of the Los Angeles, Long Beach is home to an important regional, late modernist civic center as well as the Port of Long Beach, an economic powerhouse for the region. The downtown area, the nucleus of an independent municipality, features a smattering of smattering of mid-rise office towers housing municipal functions along Ocean Avenue and Shoreline Drive. Buildings on these roads are connected by a network of pedestrianized bridges; SPF:a’s bridge aims to close a missing link in that system by connecting the Performing Arts Center Plaza with the Convention Center Promenade to the south.
The designers drew inspiration from the city’s seaside locale and mercantile traditions, abstracting the geometry of an ocean wave into a series of metallic sections connected via crisscrossing lengths of metal rope and strings of LED lights. The breaking wave shape is pulled across the length of the span above a paved boardwalk populated with seating. In some sections, the boardwalk is planted along its western edge, with trees piercing the wave armature in one location. The bridge, conceived more as a potential node for conversation and commerce emanating from the nearby convention center, will also feature electrical outlets.
New construction on the $9.3 million bridge will be accompanied by the replacement of damaged curbs, gutters, driveways, alley entrances, and sidewalks in the area. The project is due for completion in February of 2017.