The pier has been rebuilt many times since it was first completed in the 1880s. The new design will introduce a new landscape and site program that the designers believe will make the pier a year-round destination for locals and tourists.
"You can't rely on an icon alone. It's long and hot to walk out there," said Rogers Partners principal Robert M Rogers. "The new pier is about experiencing the water and the city from a variety of perspectives."
The new Pier Park, which will be funded by the city, is designed to accommodate large crowds for special events like concerts and walkers wanting to stroll along the waterfront. Shade will be provided along the structure to improve visitor comfort in Florida's hot climate.
The landscape includes a manmade "coastal thicket" designed by Smith, which will run along one side of the tree-shaded boardwalk for the majority of its length.
Beyond the thicket, a small splash pool with wooden bleachers will allow visitors to dip their feet in the bay water. Running parallel to the thicket, a paved track will accommodate cyclists, service vehicles and a small trolley, but not private cars. A pathway crossing under the thicket will bring walkers closer to the water and allow them to spot marine life under the pier.
There will also be new building at the end of the pier, containing a restaurant, a rental hall, an education centre, an a small stage facing a lawn that can accommodate up to 4000 people.
The building is rotated 45 degrees from the axis of the pier to offer views back to the city and out to the bay, while avoiding the direct glare of the sun
The end of the pier will also have launches for kayaks and paddle boats off floating docks, aiming to offer a more intimate connection to the water than what currently exists.
The half-mile-long pier will connect to another mile and a half of upland landmass that connects to larger waterfront district, which has numerous hotels and music venues.
"We're excited because the whole waterfront is getting a new master plan," Rogers said. "Much of our work will be making sure that the pier ties into the entire waterfront experience."
The city council approved $5.2 million to complete the design and demolish the existing pier. Rogers estimates the project will take at least two years to rebuild.