LAND students garner first prize in Houston bridge design contest

Jun Hyun Kim

A stylish bridge design created by Texas A&M landscape architecture students to facilitate an automobile-free connection for bicyclists and pedestrians crossing Interstate 10 in Houston’s thriving Energy Corridor District garnered first place honors in a design competition hosted by the district.

The bridge is planned to connect a proposed transit center to offices, shops and residences on the opposite side of the busy highway.

Students Jiahe Bian, Hejing Feng and Jixing Liu designed the winning entry, featuring a dramatic, tilted suspension arch and a shading structure that earned raves from the contest jury and Jun-Hyun Kim, an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Texas A&M and co-sponsor of the design competition.

“Their project presents a strong analysis of the site and demonstrates an understanding of the importance of a pedestrian and bike connection in the Energy Corridor,” the jury said in an issued statement about the winning entry.

Jurors also praised the winning entry’s poster graphics and their bridge design, which appears to take different forms depending on a viewers’ location.

Entries from undergraduate Texas A&M landscape architecture students also earned favorable nods from the jurors.

A design by Taylor Herrmann and Trevor Tabuena placed second, and a concept by Clayton Blount, Tamara Hajovsky, Kourtney Kushner and Andrew Toungate placed third.

An honorable mention award went to a design submitted by Eric Christman, Kristal Mendez, Andrew Perez and Jimmy Solis.

The first-place team earned $500 and $200- and $50-dollar awards went respectively to the second and third place teams.

Kim said the top designs will be considered in the district’s development plans.

The Houston’s Energy Corridor Bridge Contest, announced January 2016, sought an iconic bridge design to connect a future transit center on the north side of I-10 to an entertainment and residential hub across the interstate. Organizers wanted a design that contributed to the district’s branding and messaging efforts.

Among the contest criteria, all entries were required to provide a clearly documented analysis and design process; be consistent with the district’s master plan principles; utilize effective production of place-making measures to create a gateway and landmark; and to effectively communicate graphic concepts.

posted July 21, 2016