The 16 Tech Community Corporation has revealed the design of a new signature bridge designed by schlaich bergermann partner (sbp) in collaboration with Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU). The bridge will span Indianapolis’ Fall Creek to connect the 16 Tech Innovation District to Indianapolis’ research/medical corridor and the downtown community.
The multi-disciplinary team of sbp, PAU, Moniteurs, Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP), Shrewsberry & Associates, CTL Engineering, Circle Design Group and People for Urban Progress (PUP) were charged with designing a signature work of public infrastructure that serves as an example of innovation and collaboration for Indianapolis. In response, the team developed a groundbreaking structure that reinterprets the principles of a classic suspension bridge to create an entirely new form – a first of its kind in the United States.
As part of the design process, the team spent six months engaging local residents. In response to community feedback, the design team created plans that emphasize accessibility and include dedicated space for bikes, pedestrians and respite. The design also encourages connection to Fall Creek.
The bridge design borrows inspiration from Fall Creek’s beautiful setting, creating tree-like vertical supports that mimic the trunk and branches of a tree. The bridge’s defining attribute – its undulating steel ribbon – also mirrors the natural profile of Fall Creek itself, rising with tree canopies on either side of the waterway and lowering towards the center to create unobstructed views up and down the creek.
One of the bridge’s most significant and inventive features is the way it reinterprets the principles of a classic suspension bridge structure to create an entirely new form. This feat of engineering is accomplished by replacing the large vertical masts found on a typical suspension bridge with a fan-type arrangement of multiple smaller masts. Likewise, elegant flat steel plates replace the traditional suspension cables as the main supports. The bridge’s tension element is allowed to follow the new mast arrangement, creating its signature wave-like form. The resulting structure acts like a suspension bridge but is an entirely new approach to the genre.
The 342-foot-long bridge will link the 16 Tech Innovation District and the city’s wider trail and greenway network, including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The design team will continue to refine the bridge design in the coming months; the bridge is targeted for completion by the end of 2023/early 2024.
For additional details please visit the 16 Tech Newsroom.