The Arroyo Bridge Studio

This USC School of Architecture topics studio tasked students with designing a site-specific pedestrian bridge. With the guidance and mentorship of MADWORKSHOP and Board Member R. Scott Mitchell, students eagerly began work on a design proposal that explored different methods to achieve the desired result. The final design used a layered branching strategy, adopted from site-specific trees.

Designers:
MADWORKSHOP | USC School of Architecture
2014
Project Type:

The bridge needed to sit below the existing tree line and, no matter the angle, would have to blend in with the surroundings. The bridge also needed to integrate into a larger landscaping plan, a plan that would span a 75’ arroyo and shift the usability of the property to take advantage of new open spaces and views.

A group of students, under the mentorship of board member R. Scott Mitchell, eagerly developed a solution that explored different methods to achieve the desired result. The final design uses a layered branching strategy, adopted from site-specific trees.

This layered branching technique integrates structural members, which in turn influences the sculptural aspect of the bridge. Every member either supports the bridge or braces one another, maintaining the structural integrity and enhancing the layered design. Viewed from a distance, the irregular branching blends the bridge into the landscape, only coming into view upon approach. Perforated panels mimic foliage and act as a shading device, further integrating the bridge into its environment.

Currently, the bridge is in its final stages of development. Students have been utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, like 3D measuring tools and satellite imaging, to accurately place the bridge on the site. Students have also worked with steel fabricators to create a system of construction that can be easily produced, broken down, categorized, and re-assembled on site.