joshua beck and tom reiner: the wave joshua beck and tom reiner: the wave
may 07, 2010

joshua beck and tom reiner: the wave

‘the wave’ by joshua beck and tom reiner

american team joshua beck and tom reiner are one of the semi finalists in the safe trestles competition to design a pathway for san onofre state beach, california.

the wave pedestrian bridge is designed to integrate seamlessly with its site. it flows smoothly from the existing access path across a wetland, orienting users directly towards the ocean and the surf spot ‘lowers’. at the same time it gives users a path to rise above the dunes and the wetlands as well as a location to pause, stand, sit, and enjoy the sunshine and the ocean breeze.

view from below

beyond the automatic safety gate at the railroad crossing the bridge extends out over the wetland, and the deck widens as it divides into two paths. the low path follows the ocean side of the bridge, rising and falling gently within ada accessibility guidelines. the other path rises up to a higher elevation to provide views to the ocean, the beach, and the surrounding wetland habitat. a continuous sloping surface connects the upper and lower decks creating an informal landscape that can be utilized in a variety of ways. a series of lounge seats generous enough for two people each are cut from the slopedsurface – they face south over the wetlands and towards the breaking waves of the surf spot ‘middles’.

the path crosses the train tracks

the low rounded, gradual contours of the wooden bridge deck minimize the visual and physical impact of the design on the site. the crisp edges of the deck rise to revealing the steel structure. the sinuous wooden slats spread apart to allow sunlight through to the rushes and water below.

bird’s eye view of the path

the bridge is a key component to the full restoration of the existing wetland habitat. all informal paths through this area will be closed. in addition to protecting the wetland, the design seeks to minimize its footprint on the wetland by only utilizing a single line of columns. materials are chosen for performance, durability, sustainable forestry,and recyclability.

structure of the ‘wave’ pathway

the structure is given strength by a curving steel tube running the length of the bridge to form a spine. columns support the tube at equal intervals as it divides to follow the two paths. lateral forces are resolved through the curvature of the spine and deck into the concrete abutments on either end. this configuration allows the footings in the wetlands to be designed with a minimum of impact because they do not need to resist uplift or overturning forces. drawing of the bridge

section view

site plan

  • Watch out for the 400kph high speed train…splat

    Dr. Design says:
  • Pretty dangerous about sitting holes. Nice “wave” however.

    Alex says:
  • Yeah, just practically one could fall into those holes in the evening. Might be better if they grew out of the form rather than cut into it. It’s lovely though.

    w says:
  • Large holes, one guard/safety rail on one side = Lawyers gong ker-ching to each other while rubbing their hands in glee!

    It’s beautiful and a wonderful idea but some aspects will have to change.

    scamster says:
  • Hey guys, its just the conceptual renderings for a competition.
    obviously the safety concerns will be worked out throughout the development of the project.
    and rest assured, the codes will most always assure the practical safety (and most of the time, added ugliness), of the built structure.
    too many handrails have no place in a competition rendering.
    it’s almost like the fashion runway… the practicalities of life kick in once the clothes make it to the stores. in a competition, architects must sell an idea. their cv will prove their capabilities for viable building.

    Amy says:
  • interesting!!!… although cannot escape the OMA casa da musica wavy landscape/public square with niches…..

    ds says:
  • Nice form; sensual in shape. In harmony with surroundings. Thanks for showing d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Lovely, individual. Gives a special mood. thanks!

    Noa says:
  • Beautiful, but also concerned about heavy handed security measures coming in to take the fresh edge off it.
    couldn’t it just touch the ground on the low side with no rail like an indoor cycle track with less slope?

    mr says:
  • another project having so little to do with the significance of the place except for a cliche ‘wave’ form. good grief…

    percy says:

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