Three architectural practices compete for new pier commission in St. Petersburg, Florida

by Jason Holland | 15 Apr 2015

Three finalists have emerged in the competition to redesign the St. Petersburg Pier in Florida, US.

Designs from Alfonso Architects, St. Pete Design Group and Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers made the cut, following the latest meeting of the City of St. Petersburg’s Pier Selection Committee, at which four other concepts were eliminated.

The replacement of the pier has been a matter for the whole community, with Mayor Rick Kriseman saying he felt strongly that residents deserve an opportunity to weigh in on such an important public project. "Nearly 10,000 verified city residents over the age of 18 participated in our survey,” said Kriseman.

Alfonso Architects’ ‘ALMA’ design features open air floors and a 150ft (45.7m) high observation room, providing views of St. Petersburg and the surrounding bay.

Divided into four zones, the ALMA scheme features a pedestrian promenade and fishing pier, a park with a vertical interactive water feature, a 300-seat restaurant on the water’s edge, gardens, and a ballroom with a band shell that can be utilised as an event space.

Central to ‘Destination St. Pete Pier’, designed by the St. Pete Design Group, is an inverted glass pyramid. At the top of its multi-layered deck concept is an observation room, with other attractions including an enhanced spa beach, fishing deck and bait shop, a children's zone, and multiple indoor and outdoor spaces for community gatherings.

St. Pete Design Group said there would also be an interior space suitable for a marine discovery centre, museum or other tenant.

The third concept, ‘The Pier Park’ from Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, is intended to be a flexible-use hub of activity along the entire 1,380ft (420.6m) length of the pier. The proposal envisages a collection of smaller experiences for tourists and the local community, rather than offering a single destination at the pier head, so creating a “true bay-side city experience”.

An initial public meeting will be held by the Pier Selection Committee on 23 April, when finalists will provide further presentations and clarifications on their designs. This will be followed by a second meeting later that day to rank the shortlisted teams.

A final contract is expected to be approved in late May or early June. Once a concept is selected, the City of St. Petersburg will work with the winning team on a final design.

Kriseman added: "The pier has been a source of community pride and passionate debate for generations. I encourage our community to remain engaged with this issue and listen closely to the selection committee's counsel and reasoning behind its final rankings, understanding that their collective expertise and experience is impressive and politically objective.

"I'm certain any one of the final three design teams, all of whose concepts will be further refined if selected, will come to be regarded as a treasured landmark that helps define the many reasons the sun shines here."

Three finalists have emerged in the competition to redesign the St. Petersburg Pier in Florida, US. Designs from Alfonso Architects, St. Pete Design Group and Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers made the cut, following the latest meeting of the City of St. Petersburg’s Pier Selection Committee, at which four other concepts were eliminated. The replacement of the pier has been a matter for the whole community, with Mayor Rick
An inverted pyramid tops off the multi-layer design from St. Pete Design Group
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