The Northern Avenue Bridge is a historic Boston landmark worthy of preservation and revitalization. While its days of industrial and urban usage have passed, its design is a testament to the city’s ingenuity in the mechanical age.
Our winning competition entry preserves the Northern Avenue Bridge and transforms it from an abandoned relic into a functional artifact. A new Northern Avenue Botanical Bridge (NABB) serves as an armature for pedestrian travel and a greenhouse where botanical gardens flourish year round. Further, NABB renews connections between downtown Boston and the South Boston Waterfront by extending the Rose Kennedy Greenway into the Seaport District.
A fully enclosed greenhouse, NABB still maintains the operable center span of the bridge for harbor traffic. The fixed spans on either end of the bridge provide sheltered areas during the colder months and are planted as winter gardens. The glass walls of the greenhouse open and close to control the interior temperature, providing the optimal environment for exotic plants and fruit trees.
Ultimately, NABB’s restored trellis-like structure and greenhouse shed provide a much needed haven for pedestrians and cyclists as they cross the harbor, and create a new destination for residents and visitors that honors a Boston landmark in a purposeful, beautiful way.