Posted in CITIES, ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, FEATURES, PARKS, RESILIENCE, SHORE, VIEWS, WATER, tagged Florida, Ken Smith Workshop, Pier, Pier Approach, Pier Park, Roberto J. Rovira, Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, St. Pete Pier, St. Petersburg, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture December 16, 2021 | Leave a comment ”
As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will make selected stories available to readers in Spanish.
Angular and slender, the new St. Pete Pier in St. Petersburg, Florida folds 1380 feet from land to water. Under a bright, scorching sun, even 10 feet can be a bit too much.
The pier’s many offsets, crossings, and overhangs, made possible by over 400 concrete pylons, make the trip rather effortless, however. This new addition to St. Petersburg’s urban infrastructure is more of a networked arrangement of spaces than a single object, the latter being a fatal flaw that compromised the previous pier and contributed to its obsolescence and eventual demolition.
Subtle transitions allow the architecture and landscape of the new pier to take turns and communicate in a cohesive language as the surfaces move up and down and sideways in plan and section. The approximately 3,000 feet from the beginning of the Pier District, which begins downtown, to the Pier Head building at the end, are not all visible at once. Instead, the trip is broken up into a series of manageable segments with plenty of respite along the way. Residents and tourists of all ages move along shared boardwalks that begin with walkway elements including an elaborate pergola, an open-air market, and mature plantings preserved from the previous pier. Visitors move quickly from downtown speed to park speed. Free trams share a borderless space and go through varied programs that promote the culture of buying locally, public art that changes dramatically at night, sculptural play areas that integrate earthwork with native plantations and a civic plaza. central whose large expanse and water bodies accommodate a large-scale and small program.
New restaurants and pavilions provide a place to take a break, eat, listen to live music, people-watch, get close to the water and maybe even help taste and learn something new on the bay at a non-profit eco-discovery center. The wide range of experiences lead to Pier Head, where fishing is permitted and beer is served (and on request) – even Mondays at 11:00 am – at the rooftop bar. You can, indeed, decide never to go to Pier Head, and the experience would not be the least given all the new options. (Following…)
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