News Tidbits 9/1/10: Firm Selected to Design Bridge Barriers

2 09 2010

According to the latest updates from the Cornell Chronicle, architect Nader Tehrani of the firm “Office da” has been selected to design the bridge barriers for six of the gorge bridges, effectively trying to put a prettier face on suicide prevention. Two public forums will be held during the design and proposed implementation process, with the final proposal to be ready no later than May 2011.

The firm, like many selected recently by the university for its projects, is known for edgy ultermodern architecture. Normally, as readers who tolerate me are aware by now, this would be the point where I go into a rant about how such architecture fails to fit in with the surrounding environment, often fails to live up to standards, etc etc. Well, for the record, here’s a sample of their previous work, the McAllen Building in Boston:

Photo Property of Office da (

But, I don’t have a reason to complain, for three reasons. For one, they’re designing bridge barriers, which tend to have less of an impact on their surroundings than buildings. For two, it has to be cleared by public forums in conjunction with the city of Ithaca and its residents, who won’t be so gung-ho for wild design features. To be honest, the train of thought in my mind is “can they really screw this up aesthetically? Not really. ” For three, nothing can be as bad the metal behemoths we were treated to last Spring, which gave the impression of being locked into a prison yard. When you’ve already hit the lowest lows in appearance, the only way to go is up.

I’m going to be  very interested to see what comes out of their studios in the coming months.



2 responses

2 09 2010

Even if their design is attractive, I’m still not sold on the whole bridge barrier idea.

5 09 2010

The current “Zoo Fences” are much better than the old “Prison Fences”

Also, they are still considdering the net option as well

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