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Flagler Memorial Bridge

PROJECT: Flagler Memorial Bridge

LOCATION: West Palm Beach, FL

FIRM:  H2L2 Architects & Planners in Philadelphia, PA.

PIC: Tom Piotrowski

PD: John Michael Sakoian. Jr., AIA, LEED AP, BD+C

DESCRIPTION: The pre-existing bridge shares it’s history with the development of all of South Florida including the town of Palm Beach, the city of Miami and the Florida Keys. It serves as a vital link between the City of West Palm Beach and the town of Palm Beach. Henry Flagler and Southern Florida have a very closely shared history. This bridge is representative of the individual who invested his life and his fortune for the purpose of connecting the developed regions of the Northern US with Florida’s costal region.

Originally a railroad bridge, the Flagler Memorial Bridge will see its second replacement as a state of the art concrete and steel bascular bridge. The structural design, by Hardesty & Hanover, is focused on efficiency and maintainability over the bridge’s nearly 3/4 mile length. The architectural style has interpreted that important hierarchy through a light and elegant profile which is all done in the Spanish Colonial Style reminiscent of the buildings constructed by Henry Flagler. This also being the prominent architectural style of Palm Beach and the surrounding areas.

The requirements of today’s bridges have many contemporary demands such as visibility and security. These needs have been architecturally adapted to the project through incorporating a concrete tower structural system that is secure yet supports an all-glass control room for maximum visibility. This transparent “lighthouse” concept gives the control tower design an iconic significance on the inter-coastal waterway honoring the overall historical significance of the project but also clearly recognizes the numerous requirements of a modern bridge design.