Los Angeles’ very own Michael Maltzan has beat out some architectural heavy weights to win a competition for the design of the St. Petersburg pier. The firm, based in Silver Lake, was unanimously chosen over the likes of BIG and West 8 to develop their scheme that reimagines the Florida city’s waterfront and might resemble a giant tiara from certain angles. The usual experience of a pier is to go all the way out to the end and turn back, retracing all of your steps; instead, the winning scheme proposes a series of interconnected loops. Like the mathematical representation of infinity (or the figure eight), tracks cross each other before arching over a series of programmed spaces both on land and over the water. I’m not entirely sure that I understand the crenelated edge, but my favorite detail from the renderings has to be the smaller balconies that punch through the curving wall at the distant end of the pier. The balconies are small and more intimate, which is a nice moment in large, public works like this one.
This is an excellent project for the firm and it will be exciting to see how the scheme evolves as it moves from design to construction to reality.