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Wanning Li, Zhiyang Wang & Jiahe Jin

This project seeks to challenge typical stereotypes of modern urban life: bustling, clamorous, fast-paced, and direct. We chose Powell Street in San Francisco as a typical urban site. Powell St is located in the center of San Francisco and connects to San Francisco’s Union Square. The streets are dominated by hotels, shops, and recreational areas, while the city’s most significant number of top department stores, fashion boutiques, art galleries, and theaters are all around. Meanwhile, the street also suffers from the transportation conundrum of all the bustling streets. The roads are often severely congested under huge crowds and traffic flow. In addition, with a cable car route and a steeply sloped topography, the street is incapable of creating a safe, walkable environment for pedestrians. Our approach to tackling this issue is to create a floating ribbon bridge between the streets, providing a place for convenient walking and leisure to contrast with the busy urban environment. The bridge is constructed of steel and glass mirrors. Its passage circulation is created by fold planes and loop ring openings formed by the twisted ribbon shape. Therefore, on the bridge, by reflection, mirroring, and warping, different portions of the bridge yield different views. Pedestrians could constantly experience being on and off the bridge, enjoying the change of perspectives and even becoming part of the views themselves. Moreover, the loop openings of the ribbon structure enable pedestrians on the ribbon bridge to view the traffic beneath them and the sloping terrain of San Francisco. At the same time, natural light could penetrate the void to the lower level. We also created hanging gardens, public open spaces, and cafes on the rooftop of different heights and connected them with the gentle slope of the natural undulation of the ribbon bridge itself. Consequently, in the city of pedestrians shuffling through the streets to work, they can relish a pleasant walk full of vitality.

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