New St. Pete Pier design finalists shortlisted to three

08/24/11 Josh Holton
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The St. Petersburg Pier is now one step closer to getting a total makeover. Last Friday a jury narrowed down the list of new design competitors to a final three.

The City of St. Petersburg is world renowned for its water front parks, commitment to the arts, and its iconic pier, which for more than 30 years has been a city landmark and destination, but is now set to be replaced. A five member jury of architects, politicians, and designers was selected by City Council to evaluate new design proposals. The jury started out with nearly two dozen competitors, who are vying to get exclusive rights to design the new Pier. On July 29 they narrowed that bunch down to nine. City Council member Leslie Curran was on the jury.

The city has set aside $50 million for the project, and has attracted companies with international design experience. City architect Raul Quintana said he was impressed with the final three.

Quintana said jury members can talk about the overall selection process, but shouldn’t have discussions about any one team.

Urban designer and jury member James Moore said he was especially impressed with past work from architecture firm BIG.

But Moore also said he was impressed with West 8’s projects, as well as Michael Maltzan’s site specific plans. And Quintana said that not only the inverted pyramid will be replaced with the new design.

Jury member and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch said the new pier will also incorporate downtown St. Pete.

And Quintana said that while no designs have been laid out just yet, the next phase of the process will look at specific plans.

If the City Council approves the top three finalists, their designs will be submitted by the end of November. Design presentations are scheduled for mid December, and the Council will have a final vote on February 2. Each competitor will receive an honorary $50,000 for their efforts.

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