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June 13, 2006
Alcoa Foundation and Riverlife Task Force Announce Winner in West End Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 13, 2006--Alcoa Foundation and the Riverlife Task Force today announced the winner of the West End Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition, an international design contest to add world-class improvements and enhancements to Pittsburgh's West End Bridge including a walking and bicycle trail across the Ohio River. Endres Ware, an architectural design and engineering firm based in Berkeley, Calif., is the first-place winner and will receive a $7,500 cash prize funded by a $413,000 Alcoa Foundation grant that supports the competition.
Launched in October 2005, the competition included both an open contest and an invited request for qualifications (RFQ), capturing the imagination of nearly 100 architects, engineers, designers and artists from around the world.
Out of a pool of seven finalists that were selected in March - following a public display at Alcoa's Corporate Center on the North Shore - Endres Ware was chosen by a panel of expert judges.
"The judges described the Endres Ware design as elegant because of its simplicity, but with a geometric variety that will be visually exciting to see as people approach from the riverbanks. The feedback that the judges gave indicated that this design respects and enhances the existing West End Bridge and builds on a very distinguished history that is unique to Pittsburgh, while it creates new opportunities for people to stroll, sit and linger," said Lisa Schroeder, executive director of the Riverlife Task Force. "Overall, the pedestrian bridge could serve as an exciting icon or image to take the city into the future as it moves forward with its riverfront development."
The Riverlife Task Force will now begin working on a funding strategy with both public and private sources to begin design and engineering. In the coming months, the design process will include public meetings to engage residents and community organizations from surrounding neighborhoods and from across the city.
"We are delighted that this panel of expert judges has selected a winner for our competition and that this community project will begin to take shape to enhance Pittsburgh's skyline," said Velma Monteiro-Tribble, chief operating officer and assistant treasurer of Alcoa Foundation. "The sense of community is at the heart of Alcoa Foundation, and this pedestrian bridge project will invite the public to view our rivers in a way that has never been possible before, helping to make our riverfront park system an integral part of our neighborhoods."
The design set forth by Endres Ware will complete a continuous loop of trails in Three Rivers Park and provide a new, accessible destination from which to take in the true splendor of Pittsburgh's rivers, hillsides and downtown skyline, Schroeder said.
"We are grateful to Alcoa Foundation for being the catalyst for this competition, enabling the successful realization of Three Rivers Park," said Schroeder.
The Endres Ware team also includes:
-- Olin Partnership of Philadelphia for landscape architecture and urban design;
-- Auerbach Glasow of San Francisco for lighting design;
-- RWDI of Ontario, Canada for wind engineering; and
-- Amman & Whitney, of Pittsburgh, as consulting engineers.
"We are excited and proud to be part of Pittsburgh's cultural legacy of bridge building with an innovative 21st-century design that will become a catalyst for the community," said Paul Endres. "Viewed from the city, the West End Bridge will appear to be unchanged, but as you approach the new pedestrian bridge and pass through it, the bridge will take on new life and a new meaning. The views from the bridge are going to be spectacular to the east and to the west."
In addition to supporting the competition itself, the Alcoa Foundation grant will help fund educational activities and an exhibition in the fall. Educational activities will take place at the Carnegie Science Center with opportunities for children and teens to explore urban design and engineering through hands-on activities this summer and weekly model bridge building competitions that will be open to the public. These activities will conclude with an urban design classroom activity guide for public distribution.
An exhibit at the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art in the fall will showcase the competition process, with designs by all competition finalists and honorable mention recipients on display.
The second- and third-place winners are La Dallman Architects of Milwaukee, Wis., and West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They will receive prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. The winners have been posted on www.riverlifecompetition.org
About Alcoa Foundation
Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in the countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. Alcoa Foundation manages Alcoa's ACTION and Bravo! programs which recognize the volunteer efforts of employees with grants to the organizations they serve. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com, under Community.
About the Riverlife Task Force
The Riverlife Task Force is a nonprofit corporation established in 1999 to create a vision "to make Pittsburgh's urban waterfront one of the most spectacular in the world." A group of 55 civic leaders, the Task Force is now dedicated to facilitating the future development of Three Rivers Park as a public asset and is an advocate for strategic riverfront planning and development to integrate the rivers into the life of the city. www.riverlifetaskforce.org