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year                        2009
location                  CALGARY, AB  CANADA
client                      CITY OF CALGARY
project credit          KASIAN + ARUP
completed              DESIGN COMPETITION - FIRST STAGE
approx. cost            $20,000,000
role                         LEAD DESIGNER + GRAPHICS + COORDINATION

The Bow River Basin is the most highly populated river basin in Alberta. For the more than 1.12 million people living within this watershed, the flows of the Bow River sustain many aspects of their lives.  The Bow River provides drinking water and other domestic requirements,agricultural and industrial opportunities, electricity and recreational enjoyment.  From its headwaters to its mouth, the Bow River also sustains many different natural ecosystems, essential for their intrinsic significance as well as their economic and aesthetic values.’
- excerpt from the Report on the State of the Bow River Basin.
The inspiration and approach to our design for the St. Patrick’s bridge stems from the physical extent and relationship the Bow River has on the residents and visitors of southern Alberta. The delicate, poetic motif of the curve can be found in many activities along the banks of the Bow as well as in the eight surrounding reaches of the river. All along the Bow undulating waves reflect the motions of skiers and fly-fishing enthusiasts as well as the cattle roping events at the Stampede Rodeo. The importance and the significance of the Bow River to both man and wildlife is undeniable. Public knowledge through education will ensure that the Bow River Basin remains vital and vibrant. Interactive, educational displays, providing real-time information about hydrology, water quality, natural ecosystems and stewardship will be installed on the banks of the Bow and on St.Patrick’s Island.
Aformal, urban plaza is located where the bridge meets the south bank ofthe Bow and the diagonal pedestrian street, which begins in thecultural campus, culminates to the north. This is an ideal setting forthe bridge’s sculptural quality to be enjoyed. The inclusion of a welldesigned, flexible lighting system will reflect and respond to thecharacter of any staged community events. The St. Patrick’s Islandlanding is envisioned as an informal paved area for relaxation andreflection. Stepped seating gradually cascades towards an informalperformance area. The natural character of the island’s banks is to bepreserved. Where the bridge meets the north bank of the Bow, amoderately manicured rest area for pedestrians and cyclists isenvisioned with views of East Village and the downtown office towers.