schlaich bergermann partner and PAU to lead design of a signature bridge at the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis

A Landmark Link For the Crossroads of America

schlaich bergermann partner and PAU to lead design of a signature bridge at the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis

Aerial view of the 16 Tech bridge site in Indianapolis. (PAU/Courtesy 16 Tech)

schlaich bergermann partner (sbp), a Stuttgart, Germany-headquartered structural engineering firm with offices in Paris, Berlin, New York City, Shanghai, São Paulo, and Madrid, and New York-based architecture and urban design firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) have been selected to co- lead the design of a new bridge that will link the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis with the city’s existing medical and educational research corridor.

Described in a press release as being a new “architectural centerpiece” for the city, the $14.5 million bridge will traverse Fall Creek from 10th Street and Riley Hospital Drive and connect adjacent neighborhoods with the 50-acre 16 Tech campus and downtown Indianapolis; the future site can be seen in the flyover video below.

A $500 million “live-work-innovate community” underway on the edge of downtown Indianapolis in the city’s historic Riverside section, the mixed-use 16 Tech Innovation District will include office, creative, retail, and residential spaces along with open parkland and a network of pedestrian/cycling trails. In addition to the bridge itself, sbp and the project team will also oversee “schematic designs for signature entrances” and wayfinding throughout the 16 Tech development.

As AN reported in June, sbp joined a formidable shortlist of firms—six in total—in the running to head the bridge project that also included MVRDV, Snøhetta, NADAA, Behnisch Architekten, and Kennedy & Violich Architecture.

“sbp assembled a cohesive and diverse team that integrates engineering, architectural design thinking and innovative community engagement,” said Bob Coy, president and CEO of 16 Tech in a statement. “The sbp team shares our vision to create an emblem of innovation for downtown Indianapolis, and we are excited to partner together.”

Along with sbp and PAU, the project team will involve the participation of a diverse range of businesses and organizations, many of them locally-based and more than half of them owned or led by women and/or BIPOC and disadvantaged individuals. They include Circle Design Group (Indianapolis), People for Urban Progress/PUP (Indianapolis, woman-owned organization); Shrewsberry & Associates (Indianapolis, MBE, DBE); CTL Engineering (Indianapolis, MBE); Martha Schwartz Partners (New York, WBE); Synnov Group (Chicago, MBE, WBE, DBE); and Moniteurs Communication Design (Berlin, woman-owned business).

The nine-month design process is scheduled to kick off early next year with an extensive community engagement undertaking. Construction of the bridge, which will be funded in part by the City of Indianapolis and a grant from Indianapolis-based Lily Endowment, Inc., is expected to wrap up at the end of 2023.

Indianapolis-based architecture and design firm Synthesis Incorporated acted as owner’s representative for the bridge-selection process while the Columbus Design Institute, the technical services arm of the nonprofit Landmark Columbus Foundation, served as design advisor.

Chaired by 16 Tech board member Marya Rose, vice president and chief administrative officer, Cummins Inc., the selection committee included Matt Shaw, former AN executive editor, Shin-pei Tsay, director of Policy, Cities and Transportation with Uber; Sara Zewde, founding principal of Studio Zewde; and several local leaders including Vop Osili, an architect and president of the Indianapolis City-County Council; Dan Parker, director of Indianapolis Department of Public Works, and Adam Thies, associate vice president of Capital Planning and Facilities at Indiana University.

“I am excited for the design of the 16 Tech bridge to begin and for the communities around 16 Tech to have an active voice in the process,” said Osili. “The sbp team demonstrated a clear commitment to community engagement and diversity in their overall project approach, and the design process will engage surrounding communities so neighbors are heard and welcomed in the final product.”