The High Bridge: Bronx, Building Cultural Infrastructure competition (HB:BX) encouraged participants to design an arts center that culturally reinforced the physical connection between the Manhattan and Bronx High Bridge communities of New York City. HB:BX provided a rare opportunity for young professionals and students in the field of architecture and design, who have completed their undergraduate or graduate level education within the past 10 years, to draw awareness to the ongoing efforts to restore the historic High Bridge. In their proposals, entrants explored the potential urban renewal and community improvement that could come with the reopening of the landmark structure.
ENYA partnered with the arts organizations Artists Unite and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, situated at both sides of the Harlem River, respectively in Manhattan and the Bronx Highbridge neighborhoods. The design of an art center on the High Bridge challenged emerging architects and designers to explore how disused historic structures can be reprogrammed into vibrant urban centers. Competition entrants were also challenged to rethink the relationship between infrastructure (aqueduct, railway, highway) and its urban context. These architectural issues, universally relevant to any growing city, take on a more site-specific nature when considering the historic importance of the High Bridge and the topographic challenge posed by the steep riverbanks of the Harlem River.
Three hundred and eighty-six teams and individuals registered for the competition, representing a broad spectrum of domestic and international architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and graphic artists from a total of 41 countries. A distinguished jury of architects, artists, educators, and critics selected three top prizes, one student prize, four honorable mentions, and additional jury selections, all of which are presented in this exhibition.