Confluence | Portal to the Point
**2012 NY ASLA AWARD
For this project, SCAPE collaborated with The Living to re-envision Pittsburgh’s Point State Park as a hub of learning and a gateway to visualizing and celebrating regional, environmental health. The entrance to the park through a “portal” is reworked with a field of lights, embedded in a platform across a historic reflecting pool. Water levels in the reflecting pool change in tandem with the water levels of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, abstracting real-time flow data into a shifting landscape. Benches, interpretive tabletop panels, and a smartphone interface offer learning opportunities that complement and expand the historic westward view. The river’s edge is diversified with plantings and underwater, habitat-enhancing structures, including a fish finder and water quality monitoring station, linked back to the portal.
Just off the Point, a new eco-dock and science barge operate as data collection nodes and floating classrooms. Under the Fort Duquesne Bridge, a new installation of oscillating cylinders convert the hydrokinetic energy of the Allegheny’s underwater currents into electricity. This vortex induced oscillation generates clean, green, fish-friendly power that brings the total installation to net zero energy. Aquatic life and the public realm come together in a rich ecosystem of interaction and information.
Watch the video.