Main Avenue Bridge Underpass

2015 - Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Main Avenue Bridge Underpass

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

CLIENT Downtown Cleveland Alliance / STATUS Competition finalist 2015 / SIZE 3.1 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Tillet Associates and artist Stacy Levy

The approach we took jointly as a group, Balmori Associates, Tillet Associates, and artist Stacy Levy, has been to take on specific conditions of the site and work with them to increase the site’s human use and enjoyment. One of these conditions is that of the wind blowing under the bridge, an effect of its location by the water and the bridge’s channeling effect. Another is that of the darkness under the bridge particularly at the intersection of Ninth and Main Streets. The third condition is that of the great fields of paving, which impart to the site its character of being a place only for cars, not people.

From its beginning Cleveland has been indelibly linked to both Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River both as a key piece of infrastructure fueling the economy of the city and as a defining part of the cultural identity of the city. Lake Erie also defines the environment and climate that Cleveland residents reside in. The great lakes region is a special ecological system creating micro-climates around it banks.

A series of suspended trucking tarp strips transform what was considered on the fringe of downtown into a spectacle of industry and recreation, making the invisible force of the wind visible. Lake Effect is a strategic intervention on an urban scale capable of linking to development, public spaces, and destinations in the Flats Entertainment District and Warehouse District. Lake Effect is a bright and lively gesture reflective of The Flats rich industrial heritage and responsive to the thriving waterfront district to come.