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September 19, 2012

Teams come up with 70 ways to reuse SR520 floating bridge

Image by Kevin Lang and Daniel Carlson [enlarge]
One team proposed turning the old pontoons into a burial site and memorial park with biodegradable floating urns, floating gardens, above ground tombs and submersed crypts.

Housing and office space that float and are powered by underwater turbines, a community for the unemployed, and a cemetery are some of the ideas that were proposed in an international competition to come up with ways to recycle the 520 floating bridge. The competition was organized by a Washington State University architecture graduate student named Sara Strouse.

The Seattle bridge will be replaced in 2014.

More than 100 teams and individuals from 20 countries entered the Rethink Reuse competition and more than 70 submitted design plans.

The competition is part of Strouse's graduate thesis project. She is also doing research about competitions and how they are used in the architecture field.

No design contract will be awarded, but there is a $3,000 prize for the winning proposal.

The competition's goal is to raise awareness about reusing infrastructure.

Judges will announce the winners on Friday. The Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is co-presenting the competition, with sponsors NBBJ, Mulvanny G2, Kiewit/General/Manson a Joint Venture, WSU School of Design and Construction, KSI Architecture and Planning, Efikio and Belfor.

Winners will be displayed through Oct. 26 at the Seattle AIA gallery at 1911 First Ave.

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