Under the Bridge: A New Park Surprises in Providence

The park under a new bridge in Providence succeeds in creating an interesting space in the city, and shows that concrete doesn't have to be dull.

"To be fair, the bridge is open, at least in one direction, and the new park is not yet completed. Still, it already strikes this observer as among the most intriguing urban spaces he's seen. It's made mostly of concrete. You might even call it Brutalist except that its designers had a good sense of the delight that can be achieved in places where large urban forms such as bridges and highways intersect."

"This sort of delight was purged from urban design in the 1950s, but it's making a comeback. The lead architect of the Iway is William D. Warner Architects & Planners, of Exeter, and the engineer is the Maguire Group, of Foxboro. They are specialists at transforming utilitarian transportation projects into works of (largely federally funded) art."

"...Within the park under the bridge are places to sit and gaze at the marvels all around - the bridge, the Hurricane Barrier, the Narragansett Electric plant, the Narragansett Bay Commission's gabled station house, the tugboats docked at Fox's Point, with the backdrop of downtown to the north and the Port of Providence to the south. That there's a park there at all is marvelous enough. Even in its public parking lot, underneath Route 195, design etches itself into the concrete, turning blunt forms into works of art."

Full Story: David Brussat: New park under the new bridge

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00