A Bridge Too Far

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When Dallas opened the Santiago Calatrava–designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge earlier this year, it signaled the beginning of a new era for its predecessor, the Continental Avenue bridge. The 82-year-old structure will soon be converted into a pedestrian plaza, a transformation that architecture Professor Todd Hamilton decided to probe with his spring design studio, A Bridge Too Far. Hamilton believed the Continental’s redesign provided an opportunity to get his students thinking critically about the form, function, and future of bridges. Working in teams, the dozen seniors created new ideas and interpretations for the structure. “My thought was that it’s time for architecture students to revisit the bridge idea and decide if it has gone far enough or is there more to be seen and heard,” Hamilton explains. The students were encouraged to imagine such concepts as a bridge with urban housing and no cars and a “bridge of the forbidden” that cultivates a Las Vegas-like atmosphere.

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