Bridge to nowhere : Hidden site

hidden in plain sight

I am fascinated by this walking bridge that is inaccessible from either side and in reality goes nowhere - it just exists. Every time I would drive underneath it, I became more curious as to how it came to be; a narrow bridge that dead ends from a concrete retaining wall and disappears into the side of a rail bridge. This site is for all intents and proposes hidden, not just from view but from thought. 

Programing was not in the scope of this project for the site. The intent was to focus on a methodological design process to create an intervention that transformed our chosen site by registering and amplifying the inherent character conditions of the context. The bridge is conceptually closed off, impermeable and inert above the exposed and free flowing highway below; hidden from sight from passersby above - overlooked by those below.  


Physically the site is at an intersection of a major highway, a perpendicular secondary road underneath, and a rail bridge on the diagonal above. With an aim to represent the inward serial rhythm of the design process, the intervention contains a representation of these layers with repetitive vertical bands reassembled. Contained within the vertical banding a hidden horizontal striation at a random intervals to represent the background noise.

Outwardly, the vertical banding is an abstraction of an audio sound wave representation of the site; the ever present background white noise rhythmically punctuated with the intense noise of passing cars. This secondary organizing principle would come to define the outward appearance. During the day, the exterior appears monolithic and innocuous with narrow windows offering protected slices of view from within. At night, the slices are highlighted by the activity inside while keeping visual access hidden from the highway. Resonating the sites various physical and conceptual layers, the intervention is an mysterious anomaly that remains hidden in plain sight.


graduate design II : fall 2009

University of Minnesota : Jennifer Yoos