In attempt #2 in finding the new new design of the iconic St. Petersburg Pier, the shortlist announced last December has narrowed down to three. "The Lens" by L.A. firm Michael Maltzan Architecture + landscape architects Tom Leader Studio won the original competition in 2012, but that design was a bust after local group Concerned Citizens of St. Pete fiercely opposed it.
The three proposals still in the running are:
- ALMA by Alfonso Architects
- Destination St. Pete Pier by St. Pete Design Group
- The Pier Park by Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers, ASD, Ken Smith
The second RFQ also incorporates Concerned Citizens of St. Pete's core argument against "The Lens": to preserve the signature Inverted Pyramid design, which was built back in 1973.
Each team is now preparing responses to an additional set of questions to address in their proposals. Afterward, the next public meeting of the Pier Selection Committee will be scheduled.
Check out the proposals below.
ALMA by Alfonso Architects
"ALMA is a strong and direct cultural response to the rich past and economic future of an exciting city in transition. The history of the Pier is one of programmatic transitions that respond to moments in time. Some transitions were more successful than others. The nostalgic Million Dollar Pier was considered an attraction for visitors, a symbol that spoke of engaging the water and socializing with fishing, boating, swimming, dances, games and concerts. "
"ALMA is organized in an east-west urban sequence distinguished by four clear zones: the Gateway, the Garden, the Pier, and the Tower.
GATEWAY - Urban Frame and Gateway Park – Our first zone introduces the project with an architectonic Urban Frame that both mediates the distance to the Pier Head and formally frames the Tower icon. The Gateway Park anchors multiple event opportunities with amenities such as a film projection wall, public restrooms, and a monumental vertical interactive water feature.
GARDEN - Fine Dining and Outdoor Rooms - This area includes a 300 seat restaurant on the water’s edge with clear views of the Pier and water, located adjacent to the existing Dolphin Parking lot. It is crowned with a rooftop bar evoked from the coquina shell. The Gardens are envisioned as a series of formal outdoor rooms with lawns, shade, sculpture, fountains, and two casual garden cafés."
"PIER - Pedestrian Promenade & Fishing Pier – The Pier experience is subdivided into two levels with an upper observation promenade and a lower working fishing pier. Both respond to St. Petersburg’s affinity for cycling, walking, jogging, and biking while enhancing each activity with uncompromised views of the Bay. At the Pier’s midpoint is a large shade covered “green bench zone” with a small café. The green benches located here help mediate the distance between land and the Pier Head.
TOWER - Pier Head – The culmination of the Pier experience captures the nostalgia of dances and social gatherings of days past in the old Million Dollar Pier. Ballroom - The program envisions a clear span ballroom with a band shell that can be utilized as flexible event space for large groups of up to 700 persons. Casual Dining - Below the Ballroom is a casual dining restaurant that engages the water directly and is at the same level as the Fishing Pier. Observation – The top requirement from the Pier Working Group was observation. The Tower responds with multiple observation opportunities along its vertical circulation with open air floors for flexible uses such as gatherings, sculpture, or other events. The Tower is topped with a 3,000 s.f. air conditioned observation room / special events space boasting unequaled city views of St. Petersburg and the Bay."
Destination St. Pete Pier by St. Pete Design Group
"The designers of “Destination St. Pete Pier” were mindful of the desire to attract both tourists and residents and to keep them coming back. The design successfully provides opportunities for each and every program element requested while utilizing a design form that derives its shape from the placement of these elements. It is a true reflection of form following function. Observant of the desire for multiple dining options, the design provides five different opportunities; from an air-conditioned restaurant atop the iconic Inverted Pyramid, to an ice cream shop at the Pier Head and an outdoor cafe at Spa Beach, there will be something for every taste."
"The design features safe, plentiful sidewalks for pedestrians and bicycles, and two lanes dedicated for public trams, emergency vehicles, service trucks and general automobile access to allow front door drop-off. Trellises and a multi-layered deck provide necessary shade options to ensure a comfortable journey. Clear, unobstructed views are offered towards the Pier from downtown. Spectacular 360-degree views of the water and downtown waterfront are provided along the Pier Approach, on the Pier Head and at the Inverted Pyramid’s top level Sky Deck."
"Other attractions include an enhanced Spa Beach, fishing deck and bait shop, a children's zone, and multiple indoor and outdoor spaces for large community gatherings or smaller assemblies for rest and relaxation. There is also interior air-conditioned space available for a Marine Discovery Center, a Glass Museum or other valued tenant. St. Pete Design Group is comprised of only local architects. They will listen, be flexible with their design, and create a destination that our community can enjoy for years to come. Fish, play, dine, relax and remember. Discover your own Destination at the New St. Pete Pier."
The Pier Park by Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers, ASD, Ken Smith
"The St. Petersburg Pier has been an essential icon in the city since the late 1800s. Throughout its history, it has existed in many forms – the original and highly successful Railroad Pier of 1889, the Electric Pier, the Municipal Pier, the Million-Dollar Pier, and finally the most recent iteration, known simply as “The Pier.” Each pier had its own set of programs and uses, some more ambitious than others. The ones that succeeded appealed to both visitors and residents, and were active day and night, throughout the year. To accomplish the vision for a new and revitalized pier, we must create a place that embraces the dual role of The Pier as both an icon for the city and an integral part of the vitality of downtown St. Petersburg – a place for tourists and everyday visitors alike, one that honors the piers robust, eclectic history while transforming the Pier into a 21st century public place."
"The ASD/Rogers Partners/Ken Smith design does more than replace the aging icon. It extends the urban and recreational features of St. Petersburg into the bay itself through a multitude of flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community – from children to seniors, nature lovers to boaters, fishermen to fine diners. It is a hub for activity, not only at the pier head, but all along its length, creating a true bay-side city experience. Our design reconnects The Pier to the daily life of the city, tying into the city’s transportation and recreation systems (bike paths, jogging trails, parking location, and public transit systems) as well as the overlay of new transport options like the Looper Trolley and a potential high-speed ferry."
"The Pier Park is a flexible armature of rich local and destination based programming that can adapt over time as recreation and quality of life grow and change with generations. Rather than a singular and heavily programmed destination at the pier head, our proposal is a platform for a multitude of smaller and more flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community – from children to seniors, nature lovers to boaters, fishermen to fine diners. It is a hub for activity, not only at the pier head, but all along its 1,380-foot length. The Pier does not take you to a place – The Pier is the place. It is THE PIER PARK.
The nation’s great successful urban parks accommodate changes over time. The Pier Park can be successful for generations, because it can be rich in use now, in twenty years, in fifty, and in seventy five.
The Pier Park Principles:
- Flexible, adaptable armature for program
- Pier is a collection of destinations, not a single destination on pier
- Pier as icon, not icon on pier
- Multiple experiences, varied constituents
- Honor the master plan "
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