Carpenter Bridging Olmsted

Midwest
Friday, December 31, 2010
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(all photos: Andy Brake)

Earlier this year AN looked at Midway Crossings, designed by James Carpenter with lighting designers Schuler Shook and landscape architects BauerLatoza Studio, a project that uses light and urban design to create a visual connection across Frederick Law Olmsted’s Midway Plaisance. The project, formerly known as the Light Bridges, is now nearing completion, and the result seems to accomplish the goal of better joining the main campus of the University of Chicago with its expanding facilities across the park. Tall light poles and wider sidewalks with planted, raised easements create an inviting place for pedestrians, and the University hopes the two crossings, at 59th and 60th Streets, will create focused centers of foot traffic, improving safety.  Purists may feel that the University has co-opted public park space, but the design team’s use of light as the main element shows a light hand in the landscape.

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