Reading Viaduct Project_Spring 2013

  • The Reading Viaduct is an abandoned elevated train track in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While currently unsightly and overgrown, the viaduct offers the unique opportunity to bridge together and revitalize multiple Philadelphia neighborhoods. For this project I was required to design a pedestrian bridge, originating at the viaduct and crossing over the Vine Street Expressway. I was inspired by the idea of growth and that new purpose could stem from old forms. This led me to the concept of a vine, an organic yet strong shape capable of weaving together forms and spaces. 
  • I applied my concept by first creating the shape of the bridge itself. The bridge consists of two paths, a main path containing a visitors center and a through path. The two paths seemingly knit together as they stretch from one end to another. I then continued to apply my concept through the structure of the bridge. The bridge is supported by a series of steel "vines" that wrap around the  paths and connect unto a main structural arch above. 
  • View from main entrance
  • View from through path
  • The bridge's visitor's center was formed by enclosing some of the structural steel vines in glass, creating a 40 foot tall atrium-like space that includes a gift shop, cafe, offices, restrooms, and an exhibition on the Reading Viaduct.  I wanted to keep the spaces open to fully highlight the high ceilings and the building's unique enclosure. 
  •  I kept the decor in the cafe minimal by choosing frosted glass, stainless steel, concrete, and sky-blue leather to compliment the spectacular surrounding views of Philadelphia 
  • The exhibition space employs a series of panels differing in height to further highlight the volume of the space