The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

Salt Lake City, Utah

This competition entry for a pedestrian crossing at 1300 East Street, linking Sugar House Park to the Hidden Hollow Gardens, is a collaboration of Catherine Seavitt STUDIO with Guy Nordenson and Associates. We conceive of the connection as a Subterranean Bridge, providing not only a link between Sugar House Park and the Hidden Hollow, but also giving the community a new garden at each end: the Sunken Garden and the Suspended Garden.

The Sunken Garden at Sugar House Park is defined by a sweeping berm, its sloped planes planted with Oregon grape, wild mountain roses, and native grasses. The high point of the berm is set at the high water reservoir level of the Park. A gently sloped path leads pedestrians over the berm and down to the broad expanse of an enclosed Great Lawn and the entry to the Subterranean Bridge. During the summer months, a movie screen may be hung from the vertical columns at street level for outdoor film screenings.

The Subterranean Bridge is a concrete section varying from 10’x50’ at the East end to a 25’x25’ square at the West end, accommodating a 1:20 slope of the grade while maintaining the upper deck level as a horizontal datum. The tunnel roof is made of the exposed precast T-sections and a central row of columns. The joists are deep and narrow, providing a recessed space for lights and surfaces for the play of light from the Subterranean Bridge’s openings to the Ramp and from the glass-bottomed pool at the Suspended Garden above.

The Suspended Garden, above the West end of the Subterranean Bridge, is an intimate pocket park, slipping between the commercial properties and providing views of the Hidden Hollow, Sugar House Park, and the mountains. It is surfaced with wood decking and stone paving. Raised-bed plantings include a mountain rose garden, a grove of juniper trees, Oregon grape, and native grasses. Long benches provide seating areas, and a glass-bottomed reflecting pool allows light to enter the Subterranean Bridge. The Suspended Garden may be used as a lunchtime park by office workers, and as an experimental outdoor laboratory for local schoolchildren.

Design team:
Landscape and Architectural Design: Catherine Seavitt STUDIO, New York
Structural Engineering: Guy Nordenson and Associates, New York

Visiting Professor, Adjunct Faculty