An all-star team of architects has designed Wave Pier, a swirling new culture center for St. Petersburg, Florida that spirals from the shore like a roller coaster. The designers behind the imaginative structure, Mesh Architects, are a collaborative team made up of Bjarke Ingles Group, Martha Schwarz Partners, Thornton Thomasetti, Parsons Brinchkerhoff, HR&A and CC&A. The incredible design sweeps into Tampa Bay from the water’s edge, and curves dramatically to create a beautiful and unique cultural center.
Mesh’s design for the aptly named Wave Pier began as an entry for St. Peterburg’s design competition to create a new culture center for the city. The resulting structure defies gravity, swirling and extending from the shore line and twisting 360 degrees to form an interior complex that provides a covered shelter to the outdoor space below.
The multi-use structure meshes different activities under one roof. The Wave Pier becomes a place to view the serene Tampa Bay and the glittering lights of the St. Petersburg skyline at night. Inside, a pavilion, exhibition and banquet hall can host an array of performances and events for cultural institutions. The building’s arch forms a natural bandshell underneath for outdoor concerts throughout warmer months and a market is nestled near the band shell, adjacent to a boat pier. The curve of the structure also gives way to an artificial second beach out at sea, as the structure dives into the waters below.
Mesh Architecture’s Wave Pier adds an iconic landmark to St. Petersburg’s coast line, while creating a space that can suit many cultural and community needs.