California-based SPF Architects just unveiled a beautifully breezy pedestrian bridge connecting two major Long Beach venues. The Rainbow Bridge – whose wavy form was inspired by the local beaches – is an elegant 600-foot walking path interspersed with mini garden spaces. The bridge’s canopy features 3,500 color-changing LED nodes, which can be programmed and synced with music to create a beautiful light show as people wander cross.
The pedestrian bridge was designed to help people move from the Long Beach Seaside Way Convention to the Performing Arts Center. Previously, guests to the area had an uncomfortable journey walking between the two sites, including having to climb numerous flights of stairs and crossing a busy intersection.
The Rainbow Bridge will now offer visitors a beautiful walkway surrounded by 76 custom-welded bent steel ribs, which create the tunnel-like shape, but open the walkway up to natural light and ventilation. The base of the bridge is made of poured-in-place concrete, interrupted by a serene garden area planted with trees. There are wide cutouts in the bridge’s canopy so that the trees have enough space to grow upwards and outwards. Drainage for the walkway plantings is concealed in the concrete spine of the flooring.
Initially called Riptide, the bridge‘s wavy form and hull-like girth was inspired by the area’s beaches. Attaching the LED nodes to the cables enabled the architects to convey a net-like structure or the rigging of a ship.
Stretching the length of the bridge, the thin ribs are installed with 3,500 color-changing LED nodes, 100 downlights and 70 floodlights, all of which can be programmed and synced with music. The lights on their own give the bridge a beautiful glow in the evenings.