Since its earliest days as a growing fishing village on Florida’s west coast in the late 1800s, a pier has been the centerpiece of the St. Petersburg, Fla. downtown waterfront. The current landmark Pier —the seventh in a succession of waterfront piers—opened in 1973 and is nearing the end of its life span, slated for future replacement. St. Petersburg is sponsoring an international design competition for a new, iconic Pier structure.
Interested parties must register for the competition by July 8, 2011. Submission of the Statement of Qualifications will be due on July 19, 2011. A juried panel will select three design teams to be invited to the second phase of the process. During stage two, the three teams will submit a design concept, and each will receive a $50,000 honorarium for participating in the process. It is anticipated that a final plan will be approved and contract negotiations will begin with the accepted team early next year.
Design teams interested in obtaining information on the city’s request for qualifications must visit the competition website. The website also provides volumes of background information and public input generated during a community visioning process that preceded the current design competition.
Known as the “inverted pyramid,” the St. Petersburg Pier juts a quarter mile from the city’s downtown entertainment district into Tampa Bay. The current five-story structure includes a rooftop observation platform, restaurants, shops, boating excursions, fishing, bicycle rentals, a Pier Aquarium and more. The current pier replaced the popular “Million Dollar Pier,” (1926 to 1967) which reflected the grand Florida land boom with its Mediterranean-revival casino style building.
St. Petersburg, Florida’s fourth largest city with more than 250,000 residents, has emerged as a real estate hot spot in the Southeast, has been called one of the south’s best downtowns, and was recently ranked the No. 1 Arts Destination for cities of its size. The city topped a list that also included Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Boulder, Miami and more.
Earlier this year, the world famous Salvador Dali Museum opened its doors on the city’s downtown waterfront in a $35 million building designed by HOK’s Yann Weymouth, the chief design architect for the Grand Louvre project in Paris. Within the last year, a new Chihuly Collection entered the city’s arts scene in a stunning space on fashionable Beach Drive, designed by noted architect Alberto Alfonso.