16 Tech Community Corporation announced the selection of a team led by engineering firm schlaich bergermann partner (sbp) in collaboration with Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) and other key partners to design a signature bridge that will connect the 16 Tech Innovation District to Indianapolis’ nationally ranked research corridor and serve as an architectural centerpiece for the city. 

The sbp and PAU team was selected from a field of 33 design teams, all globally recognized for their architecture, engineering and urban development work, that responded to a public Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Six finalists including sbp, as well as Behnisch Architekten, Kennedy & Violich Architecture, MVRDV, NADAAA and Snøhetta were invited to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) and interviewed by a committee of local and national experts in design, public transportation, urban planning and landscape architecture. 

The new bridge will span Fall Creek from 10th Street and Riley Hospital Drive, connecting Indianapolis’ medical and education campuses to the 16 Tech Innovation District, neighboring communities and downtown Indianapolis. The project also includes schematic designs for signature entrances and wayfinding throughout the district. 

Founded in 1980, sbp focuses on the design and construction of innovative structures. The firm’s projects include a variety of innovative bridges, lightweight roofs, slender towers, signature buildings, moveable structures and pioneering renewable energy technologies. Notable bridge projects include: a series of six bridges for Toronto’s new Port Lands development; a new pedestrian bridge for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park in Buffalo, New York; the Consol Energy Wingtip Bridge in Glen Jean, West Virginia; and the Phyllis Tilley Memorial Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas. 

“sbp assembled a cohesive and diverse team that integrates engineering, architectural design thinking and innovative community engagement,” said Bob Coy, president & CEO of 16 Tech. “The sbp team shares our vision to create an emblem of innovation for downtown Indianapolis, and we are excited to partner together.” 

“We are excited to bring such a creative team of designers to the 16 Tech Innovation District, jointly working on a landmark bridge for the City of Indianapolis,” said Michael Stein, Partner and Managing Director of sbp’s New York office. “We believe the bridge can connect the wider community and serve as a symbol of 16 Tech’s commitment to collaboration, innovation, and research.” 

PAU Founder and Creative Director, Vishaan Chakrabarti, notes “PAU is thrilled to have been selected to collaborate with world-renown bridge engineers sbp and our extraordinary team members on behalf of 16 Tech. We believe that through thoughtful community-based design this project will build upon the great strengths of Indianapolis and 16 Tech as a world-class location for jobs and innovation centered on equitable and sustainable public space.” 

The team led by sbp includes highly-experienced and diverse partners that bring world-class global and local expertise together. More than 50 percent of the design contract is with minority, disadvantaged, or women-owned or led businesses: 

  • • Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), New York (MBE) 
  • • Moniteurs Communication Design, Berlin (woman-owned business) 
  • • Martha Schwartz Partners, New York (WBE) 
  • • Shrewsberry & Associates, Indianapolis (MBE/DBE) 
  • • CTL Engineering, Indianapolis (MBE) 
  • • Circle Design Group, Indianapolis 
  • • Synnov Group, Chicago (MBE/DBE/WBE) 
  • • People for Urban Progress (PUP), Indianapolis (woman-led organization) 

“I am excited for the design of the 16 Tech bridge to begin and for the communities around 16 Tech to have an active voice in the process,” said Vop Osili, architect and President of the Indianapolis City-County Council who represents the district in which 16 Tech is located. “The sbp team demonstrated a clear commitment to community engagement and diversity in their overall project approach, and the design process will engage surrounding communities so neighbors are heard and welcomed in the final product.” 

Community engagement for the project is expected to begin in early 2021 and include opportunities for stakeholder input and feedback throughout the nine-month design process. 

16 Tech is a $500-million, 50-acre live-work-innovate community focused on bringing together entrepreneurs, academics, startups, corporations and creatives in a single place to spark the exchange of ideas that leads to innovation. The development features a mix of office, creative, residential, and retail spaces in addition to green space and trails. 

The 16 Tech bridge design and construction is supported through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and funding from the City of Indianapolis. The bridge is targeted for completion by end of 2023. 

A committee of local and national experts in design, public transportation, urban planning and landscape architecture partnered with 16 Tech to review and recommend a team for the project. The selection committee was chaired by 16 Tech board member Marya Rose, vice president and chief administrative officer, Cummins Inc., and included internationally recognized leaders Matt Shaw, contributing editor, Architect’s Newspaper; Shin-pei Tsay, director of Policy, Cities and Transportation, Uber; Sara Zewde, founding principal, Studio Zewde; and local leaders Vop Osili, Indianapolis City-County Council President; Dan Parker, director, Indianapolis Department of Public Works; and Adam Thies, associate vice president, Capital Planning and Facilities, Indiana University. 

16 Tech worked with Columbus Design Institute and Synthesis Incorporated to manage the selection process. CORE Planning Strategies and American Structurepoint will support 16 Tech as advisors through the design and construction of the bridge. 

Video of bridge site is available here.