2012 Cleveland Design Competition: The Bridge Project

Sponsors: Cleveland Design Competition and The Bridge Project

Type: Open, ideas, one-stage

Location: Cleveland

Language: English

Fee: None

Eligibility: Licensed architects and students

Jury: TBD


31 July 2012 – Jury announcement

10 September 2012 – Registration deadline

5th October 2012 – Submission deadline


First Place

$5,000.00 USD + travel stipend to attend Awards Reception (maximum $750.00)

Second Place

$2,000.00 USD + travel stipend to attend Awards Reception (maximum $500.00)

Third Place

$1,000.00 USD + travel stipend to attend Awards Reception (maximum $250.00)

*At the sole discretion of the jury, each award level can be re-assigned to another award level or split. The total money awarded will not be less than $8000,00.00 USD. Travel stipend only applies to winners located greater than 100 miles from Cleveland, Ohio.

Design Challenge:

The Detroit-Superior Bridge, also known as Veterans Memorial Bridge, is one of the most prominent features of Cleveland’s urban landscape. At almost one-mile long, The Bridge spans the Cuyahoga River connecting Downtown Cleveland, the industrial Flats neighborhood and Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods. The Bridge, completed in 1918, is a concrete arch and steel bridge consisting of two levels; an upper level that is largely dominated by vehicular traffic and a lower level that was originally designed for streetcars. While the upper level of The Bridge is one of the most heavily used thoroughfares in Cleveland, the lower level has remained closed, vacant and largely unused since 1954 when streetcar service was discontinued. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the upper level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, including an expanded sidewalk for pedestrians and a bike lane, were completed in 2005.

The lower level of The Bridge is a vast, cathedral-like space that includes subterranean subway stations at either end. An open-air span over the river provides unmatched views of the downtown skyline, the city’s industrial valley, and Lake Erie. The two ends of The Bridge include vestiges of the former streetcar stations including stairwells and tunnels, colonnades and waiting spaces, and segments of track. The ‘subway’ as the ends of the lower deck were called, had streetcar entry ramps at West Sixth Street and Superior Avenue on the east, and on both Detroit Avenue and West 25th Street on the west. The streetcar entry points have since been removed. Pedestrian and vehicular entry to The Bridge currently occurs at grade on either end of The Bridge at a gated opening, and by stair via two original entry points; an office building on the southwest corner of West 25th and Detroit and through a building that serves as the current home of the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office.

The Bridge offers tremendous potential for use as a dynamic public space, performance venue, and sheltered bicycle/pedestrian connection over the Cuyahoga River. Designs will provoke public conversation about creative place making in Cleveland and provide innovative ideas for a world-class public space. Winning designs will be selected among entries as best illustrating the possibilities for the future use of The Bridge.

Submission requirements:

All submissions—in digital or physical format— must be received in Cleveland, Ohio, no later than 5:00pm (EST) on October 5th 2012. Submissions postmarked before October 5th, 2012, but received after October 5th, 2012 will be disqualified. Mail or deliver physical entries to:

Attn: Cleveland Design Competition

c/o Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

1309 Euclid Avenue, 2nd FL

Cleveland, OH 44115

For more information, go to: