St. Petersburg Pier was originally a train pier that was used to offload goods from boats, but as deep water ports developed, the pier became obsolete and residents of the area began using it for recreation. Over the years the pier has gone through many redevelopments, but St. Petersburg wants to update it yet again to bring more people to the area and make use of the existing infrastructure. BIG’s proposal calls for a regeneration of the area into a massive mixed-use space that includes open parks, picnic areas, trails, boat launches, beaches, swimming areas, and more. Inspired by the natural cycle of water, the pier launches out into the ocean and curls on itself, creating a massive wave-like structure. This wave contains a variety of exciting recreational activities like an artificial wave for surfing, pools, steam baths, a climbing gym, restaurants, and a viewing deck at the very top. The space can also be used for farmer’s markets, fairs, concerts, and other public events.
Demolition materials from the existing pier will be used for ecological restoration at a nearby site, and the park area leading up to the pier will landscaped with native and drought-tolerant plants. Stormwater will be sustainably managed to protect the surrounding waters. Solar passive design, natural ventilation, and other low-energy strategies like sea water cooling will help regulate the structure’s climate. Other water and energy-efficient strategies will be employed to reduce environmental impact and help the project achieve LEED certification.
BIG’s team is one of three firms chosen as finalists in the St. Pete’s Pier design competition and – they’re up against Michael Maltzen Arcitecture and West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. It is also interesting to note that BIG is also a finalist in the design competition for the redevelopment of Chicago’s Navy Pier.