Living in the Bay Bridge: Old Eastern Span Reimagined as Housing

Categories: Architecture

winner-Bay_Bridge_House_design_competiton_1-805x525.jpg Lee Ka Chun and Ngan Ching Ying
Winning entry

As you coasted over the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge before its closure -- did you imagine the future of its beams and double decks as housing? Us either. But architect students took the challenge to transform the 77-year-old bridge into sustainable housing and multi-use spaces.

The Bay Bridge House Student Design Competition came to fruition after the co-founder of the competition, David Grieshaber, called Caltrans about the future of the bridge and learned that it was slated for a scrap yard. Not wanting to lose this piece of architecture forever, the Bay Bridge House organization called for student architects to imagine a future for the span -- that didn't include lying out in some industrial park.

"We think that something more creative should be done with some of the scrap. Let's use a few small sections and create the most modern self-sustaining housing and eco multi-use space in the world," says the the Bay Bridge House website. "With assistance from Bay Area individuals, organizations, companies and government we can source all of the build parts locally and create something magical and unique for everyone to enjoy."

community_winner-Bay_Bridge_House_design_competiton_3-805x525.jpg Romain Caba
Community vote winnter

The organization gathered designs from 73 students around the globe and sifted through the plans to find an overall winner, board members winner, community winner, and honorable mentions. Scrolling through the images, the designs are unique, thoughtful, and the best part -- completely plausible.

It was hard for us to imagine something sleek and modern made from the archaic bridge, but the designs are fraught with innovation, clean lines, and open-air spaces.

Grieshaber says they're focused on making the winning plan a reality -- bringing the old Bay Bridge into a sustainable future.

Maybe you didn't need to say goodbye to the old span after all.

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My Voice Nation Help

There's a couple parking lots owned by the city/state on the corner of 34th/Mandela PKWY that they'd been using for staging, prior to switching over to the new bridge.  Now it's pretty much vacant and would make a perfect place to build something like this!

Amanda Wybolt
Amanda Wybolt

Nicole Nejatineat I don't know if that bodes well for dance parties

Erik Johnson
Erik Johnson

It doesn't look dangerous at all either!

Maurice Rivers
Maurice Rivers

You'll need plenty of insulation for the walls when it gets cold.

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