San Diego Pedestrian Bridge

The re-urbanization of California has led to a return to rail passenger infrastructure. The engineer-driven design of the contemporary rail-landscape relies upon standardization and expedience. This has led to an aesthetic of economic practicality. This is almost okay. Some of the best American design has been the result of unashamed technological competence. However, in this age of NIMBYs, infrastructure is seen as a threatening and invasive “other” that homogenizes and irritates. In response, architects and artists have been hired to provide token appeasement decoration. The resulting design is often a poor fit for the infrastructure it is a part of.
Our proposal seeks to bridge between the universal world of railroad engineering, and the desire to express the unique identity of local context and history. This design represents one possible application of this system.We propose a “kit of parts” system of prefabricated steel components that can be assembled in a variety of configurations. These elements are proudly of the world of engineering -direct, simple fabrications that are expressive of conventional steel fabrication technology. Upon these structures, contextualizing skins designed by artists and architects can draw upon the salient aspects of a particular community. In this manifestation, graffiti-inspired forms contrast with a glass curtain wall to clad a structure that includes an elevator and stair at one end and an accessible ramp on the other.


  • San Diego County, California


  • Tied for First Place in Visions on Track Ideas Competition


  • 1992