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Edwards Moore have been announced as the winners of the Design for an Active City competition, which asked for urban design proposals to transform a section of Melbournes Collins Street Bridge.
The competition called for implementable, site-specific proposals that would improve the pedestrian experience along the northern edge of the Collins Street Bridge, which connects Spencer Street Station and Melbournes CBD with the Docklands. Designs needed to be developed and constructed to a budget of $25,000. The challenge was to encourage the public to use the bridge and thereby show how design might stimulate increased physical activity among city dwellers.
Edwards Moores winning concept, Chroma, features a series of coloured plexiglass fins that will slot in among the existing yellow fins of the bridges balustrade, designed by Wood/Marsh. The frameless plexiglass blades will refract daylight, creating colourful reflections across the bridge at different times of day and giving pedestrians a changing visual experience as they move along the path.
The kaleidoscopic effect of the installation is designed to add a touch of colour and playfulness to the undressed urban landscape surrounding the bridge. Step by step through this vibrant yet subtle rainbow gradation, pedestrians look out onto the technicoloured landscape beyond: onto a coloured and emotional city, say the designers. It is a dynamic interaction with a non-tangible aesthetic that is both poetic and emotive, and constantly changing.
The winning design will now be developed with event partners VicUrban, GHD and Webber Design, before it is installed on the bridge for a three-month period from 1 October 2011 until early January 2012.
Edwards Moores design was announced as the winning concept at a presentation on Monday 25 July, held at the State of Designs Do Design Space in the GPO building. Nine other concepts were shortlisted from the 24 entries received in the competition, with entries judged on their innovation, consideration for sustainable design and aesthetic qualities.
The second place entry, a concept from dKO Architecture called Retuned, proposed that the bridge be morphed into a musical instrument that pedestrians can interact with by running a stick along the yellow fins of the bridge. Third place was awarded to a wayfinding proposal from Grimshaw. Other shortlisted teams included ARUP, peckvonhartel, CPG Australia, Splinter Society and Architecture Architecture, Office of Other Spaces and Alice Dyer + Marco Roma.
The nine shortlisted entries and the winning design are currently on show at the Do Design Space on Level 2 of the GPO until Friday 29 July.
Now in its eleventh year, Shaw Contract’s Design Awards program honors architecture and design firms that are changing the way people engage and interact with a space.