In order to provide easy pedestrian access between Long Island City and Brooklyn, New York, CRÈME Architecture & Design have designed a floating timber bridge that will greatly reduce travel times and still allow for boats to pass beneath.
If you stand in Manhattan Avenue Park in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighbourhood, you’ll see the Long Island City skyline across a small creek. On the Greenpoint side of the creek, a historic neighbourhood of row houses and industrial sites is rapidly growing. On the Long Island City side, high-rise apartments and hundreds of art galleries and studios line the East River.
Just a stone’s throw away, Long Island City can feel like a world away from Greenpoint. That’s in large part due to the fact that only one bridge connects the neighbourhoods—and it’s intended for cars rather than pedestrians. In order to combat this, architect Jun Aizaki and his team at CRÈME Architecture & Design, have been working on the “Timber Bridge at Longpoint Corridor”.
The floating bridge would provide pedestrian and bicycle connections between Greenpoint and Long Island City, in turn activating public space on both neighbourhoods’ waterfronts.
The project is still in its infancy. Currently, the team is looking for $50,000 on Kickstarter to fund feasibility studies and a light installation that would emulate the shape of the proposed bridge. If their Kickstarter can raise its goal by June 16th, 2018 the project will still need city approval.
CRÈME’s proposed design for the bridge features a lightweight timber structure supported on floating pontoons. Sitting just atop the water, the bridge would reduce travel time between Greenpoint and Long Island City over the Newtown Creek from twelve minutes to two. However, pedestrian convenience comes at a cost for commerce as barges wouldn’t be able to go under the bridge. In order to combat this, CRÈME has designed the bridge to pivot at its midpoint, allowing waterborne vehicles through.
If implemented, the timber bridge would bring the sustainably-built structure to the mostly industrial Greenpoint and Long Island City waterfronts along Newtown Creek. And when the L train shuts down for 15 months beginning in April 2019, Aizaki thinks the Timber Bridge could serve as a vital connector. Even if the bridge isn’t built in time for the shutdown, the bridge would nevertheless provide intermodal connections between boroughs.