The project was sparked by Hurricane Katrina as an unparalleled opportunity to re-evaluate a languishing stretch of waterfront and to supplement New Orleans’ unique character, unusual street grid, and historic architecture with visionary yet practical and contemporary sustainable design. The riverfront development plan was established in 2007 and 2008, and proposes a key role for a six-mile stretch along the East Bank of the Mississippi River. From Jackson Avenue upriver to the former Holy Cross school site just down river of the mouth of the Industrial Canal, this plan envisions an urban, active, beautiful river crescent for the city’s citizens to enjoy.
This 1.4-mile linear park includes 20 acres of native landscaping, bike paths, playgrounds, a dog run, and the adaptive reuse of two industrial wharfs. Employing alternative energy resources and a simple economic model, The park will be both energy self-reliant and financially self-sufficient.
The concept for Piety Bridge was driven by a desire to create something that was not only functional, but also celebratory – tapping into the incredible triumphs of the city. The idea was to grant access to the waterfront, which the existing railway precluded and the choice of materials resonates with the narrative of the area. Given the nature of the project, a linear form was perceived to be too straightforward. Instead, the arch, which rises towards the sky and offers incredible views of the park, gives a palpable experience of transcendence that felt like the perfect complement to the New Orleans’s story.