A Bridge to Their Future - Architecture students win contest to design Florida structure

Author: Julie Hail Flory


Hundreds of miles from South Bendand still farther away from Ireland – a new structure in Florida soon will be built with a distinctive Irish flair, thanks to the work of two graduate students from Notre Dame’s School of Architecture.p. Kristoffer Koster and Ryan Yurcaba submitted the winning entry in a competition to design a pedestrian overpass linking the Village of Tannin, located near the western edge of Orange Beach, to the sandy coast of the Gulf of Mexico. When completed, the bridge will offer beach-goers a safe route over a four-lane highway that currently separates the town from the beach.p. “It will be something we hope the citizens of Tannin will find to be an easier and safer connection to the beach,” Yurcaba said. “We feel this is a great accomplishment and look forward its completion.”p. Koster and Yurcaba, from Boynton Beach, Fla., and Atlanta, respectively, first learned of the contest when they saw a flyer posted in the School of Architecture. They attended an informational meeting and then put their heads together to come up with some ideas. Taking into account such considerations as budget constraints, town access and local architecture, the two came up with a finished design that features two ramped paths with a staircase at their juncture and an observation tower which provides views of the beach and town.p. “We worked very hard to design the project to fit within the local vernacular architecture,” Koster said. “Its location near the beach and being an open structure allowed our design to be less formal and create a better relationship with the visitor.”p. Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2005, and Koster and Yurcaba have already been asked to provide construction drawings as the project comes to fruition. While both had some professional experience already under their belts before winning the contest, this will be the first time they have had complete control over a design. But they promise it won’t be the lastfor themselves, and they hope for those who may follow in their footsteps.p. “We hope that this project inspires other Notre Dame students to participate in design competitions in the future,” Yurcaba said.p.

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