- Project Name
- Van Leesten Memorial Bridge
- INFORM Studio
- City of Providence
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- Year Completed
- Shared by
- Project Status
This project was selected as a winner in AIA's 2023 Regional & Urban Architecture Awards.
When city officials ordered the relocation of I-195 some 40 years after its disruptive construction in Providence, R.I., it paved the way for the creation of two waterfront parks that helped reconnect neighborhoods that had been separated by the interstate’s path. Now, thanks to Michigan-based Inform Studio, the Van Leesten Memorial Bridge links the two parks—sited on opposite sides of the Providence River—and furthers the city’s effort to revive previously marginalized areas.
Named after local civil rights activist Michael S. Van Leesten, the new bridge—bolstered by repurposed granite piers that once supported I-195—has been designed to be a destination in its own right, complete with seating and built-in landscaping. Rot-resistant South American ipe forms the decking while modular panels of wana, a go-to boat-building material, wrap the steel structure and point to the city’s nautical past.
Project: Van Leesten Memorial Bridge, Providence, R.I.
Architect: Inform Studio
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
Landscape Architect: BETA Group
Electrical Engineer: CJL Engineering
Lighting: Buro Happold
Project Management: CDR Maguire
Wood Fascia: SITU Fabrication
This article first appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of ARCHITECT.