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.
April 26, 2009, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"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:
Published on Thursday, April 23, 2009 in The Providence Journal
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email