Scottsdale city council approves scottsdale public art program's proposed soleri bridge and plaza

Scottsdale city council approves scottsdale public art program's proposed soleri bridge and plaza
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (June 3, 2008). Scottsdale Public Art announces today, the long-awaited downtown pedestrian bridge and plaza designed by famed architect Paolo Soleri, will move forward this fall/winter, following the Scottsdale City Council's final approval Tuesday of a new budget.

The City Council earlier this year unanimously endorsed funding the bridge in the final version of the 2008-09 budget. Tuesday's vote means the remaining $1.7 million for the project is officially in place and construction can begin fall/winter 2008.

Scottsdale Public Art Program has funded $1,000,000 for the project and an additional $500,000 funding is from developer, Starwood Capital Group and Golub & Company, which has also pledged another $1 million in art at the Waterfront.

The 100 foot-long bridge, spans the Arizona Canal west of Scottsdale Road, with a 22,000 square foot plaza on the south bank. The bridge will connect the Scottsdale Waterfront on the north side of the canal with the various retail and dining establishments on the south side of the canal. However, more important than its structural function, is the project's cultural significance. Paolo Soleri, one of the Valley's most revered cultural icons, has designed the bridge and the plaza. As a result, the project will serve as a key cultural destination and gathering place, enriching Scottsdale's art scene, in addition to providing convenient pedestrian access.

Scottsdale Public Art is honored and privileged to have such a revered cultural icon contributing to the community, said Valerie Vadala Homer, program director for the Scottsdale Public Art Program. Scottsdale Public Art is proud of the City's commitment to move forward with the project and is thrilled with the outpouring of support by local residents and council members. The Soleri Bridge project will no doubt garner national attention, which will emphasize Scottsdale's incredible offerings and passionate commitment to the arts.

This is the first bridge by Paolo Soleri to be constructed in the world and is anticipated to be one of Soleri's greatest projects. The design for the bridge draws upon solar and celestial events, an important element in much of Soleri's work. It will feature two steel-clad, 64 foot pylons that will generate a light beam on the walking surface of the bridge, to mark solar events and reiterate the connection of humans to the environment, light, and architecture. The plaza on the south side of the canal features a second set of pylons, which will house the largest bell assemblage ever created by the artist. Cast bronze bells are the signature retail item of Soleri?s Cosanti studio.

Soleri has had fellowships from the Graham Foundation and Guggenheim Foundation, as well as three honorary doctorates and several international medals. His most coveted accolade, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for lifetime achievement in 2006.
For more information on the Scottsdale Public Art Program or the Soleri Bridge and Plaza project, please visit or call (480) 874-4645.

Media Contact:
Amy Monier