Safe Trestles

Project:           Safe Trestles Footbridge (Competition)
Year:               2010
Type:               Footbridge
Location:       San Onofre, California


Organized by Architecture for Humanity, Safe Trestles is an International Design Competition that called out for the design of a safe and compliant route between the existing parking lot and the surf beach, while preserving and enhancing a symbiotic co-existence between human recreational activities and coastal ecology. The competition would provide a design to be implemented in repairing the San Onofre wetlands, damaged by excessive foot traffic. Considering the notion of time, our proposed footbridge will serve as a symbolic datum for this site history and ecology, providing a path that transitions the traveler in a series of slow movements while feeling suspended in time and place. Disengaging from the destination for a moment, the bubble provides protection and a place of safe observation.  In this space of detachment from purpose, awareness begins.  The path feels fluid and fragile like the wetland below. Mundane thoughts are slowly drown out by the steady rhythm of the waves on the shore as symbolically recreated sound wave pattern of the vertical railings. Motion activated electrical generators throughout the structure collect the vibrations of these cable strung poles, storing energy to be released to LEDs at night. The wind catches each bubble, dynamically suspended in its intersection with the path. The fiberglass bubble and structure is allowed to oscillate horizontally with a degree of independence from the wooden path; the frothy moment at the edge of the surf when a powerful wave surrenders to the sand and returns to the ocean.

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