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Since their construction, the bridges which bring buses from the Lincoln Tunnel to the upper levels of the Port Authority bus station have created a dark, dreary back door to Manhattan for thousands of visitors and commuters each day. The local community, concerned about both the image to passengers and the quality of street life below, organized an invited competition to find a means of transforming the structure into a welcoming community asset.
PKSB’s winning design has its roots in the existing character of the neighborhood and the structural nature of the bridges. Finding inspiration in Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie and James Turrell's light studies, the design team created an installation that expresses energy with structure, color and light.
The bridges themselves are painted a palette of colors to enhance the sculptural quality of the roadways and are illuminated dramatically. Permanent metal scaffolding inserted as a means of maintaining the installation, acts as a theatrical scrim both revealing and concealing color that vibrates between the surfaces to invigorate and light the space below. Reflections from passing lights from cars and taxis interact with the composition and add to the vitality of the design.
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