access to the water sheet and a new form of conveyance across Fort Point Channel to the south of Summer Street as a variation
of the Channel's celebrated mechanical bridges.
comprise pairs of counter rotating diaphragms, hinged together at a center pivot and to other pairs, supported by standard
dock floats. A rack and pinion mechanism engages vertical pilings or the Channel sea wall to harness the kinetic rising and
falling with the tides, extending and retracting the Piers. As the tides lift and drop the floating Piers, pinions located
at the pier anchorage engage a vertical rack fixed to either the sea wall or pilings. A drive train translates the rotation
of the pinions to the anchored ends of the Pier platforms, spreading or contracting the Pier ends and retracting or extending
the Piers. The switchback ramp system required to bring visitors from the top of the sea wall down to the water sheet shares
the visual language of the criss-crossed Pier diaphragms. Each Diurnal Pier will have LED illumination at its joints
adding to the after dark glitter of lights on the Channel, emphasizing the compression and the extension of the Pier through
the changing distances between the lights as the Piers extends and retracts. Eventually different Pier configurations and
pairings could activate the Channel along its entire length, with various programs such as fresh water swimming pools or beverage
and food bars deployed on floating platforms attached to the ends of the piers.
Diagram showing the changing Boston
shoreline and movable Channel bridges.
Our proposal acknowledges the incredible importance of Boston's seafaring past by alluding to both
the piers that bristled from the city's shores, and to the unique bridges that opened and closed as cargo vessels shipped
with the tides. The Fort Point Channel bridges are a national engineering treasure, represent an incredibly diverse and imaginative
negotiation of conveyances on land and water, the mechanisms of turning gears, wheels, and counterweights echoing the Newtonian
clockwork of the solar system, the diurnal rotations of the earth and moon that gives us the cycles of the tides, syncopated
with day and night, work and play. The piers extend out into the water as a celebration of voyage and crossing, the reach
of imagination, a freight of ideas, and the possibility of reconciling technological aspirations with an experience of the
Deployment of 1"=1'-0" prototype
in the Charles River.
Special thanks to Beth Baniszewski, Michael Kyes, David Porter, David Rubino, and James Vayo.