"For us, the ultimate significance of the Pier is not as an object, or even a single park, but as the central element connecting downtown St. Petersburg with its waterfront.” - Michael Maltzan Architecture
This information is from the orginal design proposal and is now outdated, but preserved online for archival and reference purposes. Visit www.TheNewStpetePier.com to view all the current information about "The Lens" concept.
The new Pier is not an icon unto itself. It is instead a lens that frames the city’s relationship to the water, changing how St. Petersburg views its present and its future. While the Pier will remain an important attraction for visitors, we believe that the Pier must be first for the people of St. Petersburg, an active, vital part of the city’s life and culture. Operating on multiple scales of renewal—individual, urban, economic, ecological—this new Pier serve as a new kind of fountain of youth for St. Petersburg and its citizens, a symbol of the renewed vitality of the city, a platform for continued growth, and a destination within the city, the region, and our nation.
Like a magnifying glass on the water, the new Pier acts both as a lens back to the city and a window into the under water world beneath. Looping out over the water from the shore, the Lens provides views of the bay below and sky above, framing and highlighting the reciprocal relationship between the city and the Bay. Rising above the water, the crenellated form of the Lens canopy evokes waves or sails, a crown on the eastern horizon. Twin bridge paths that extend out and back from the uplands, eliminate the traditional unidirectional path typical for a pier and instead creates a circuit that allows for a wider variety of experiences as visitors walk to the Pier’s length, takein the waterfront vistas, and return back to the City.
We recognize the new Pier will be the linchpin in a larger network of interconnected circulation pathways of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists that extend acrossthe entire downtown waterfront. Connecting Vinoy Park,Demen’s Landing, and Straub Park, the new Pier will be anintegral part of downtown St. Petersburg. Once completed,the Pier will be a model for how other cities can rethink their waterfronts, especially their relationship to the natural environment when planning adaptable and sustainable energy and water strategies. A new waterfront promenade and sculpture walk links the existing cultural and commercialaxis extending north and south along Beach Drive andStraub Park, creating more direct experiences of the water.To the west, Central Avenue and a remade 2nd AvenueNorth extending to Mirror Lake, links the Pier with the heartof downtown.