Los Angeles, CA


The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge can most succinctly be described as a custom bridge built on a Caltrans budget. When the City of Long Beach first set out to build this link, they had a very rudimentary, elevated sidewalk in mind. For them, the goal was simple: offer a public connection between two banner venues, the convention and performing arts centers. SPF:a, however, felt the location needed an experience, not just a concrete traverse. Working within the city’s budget, SPF:a employed a standard Caltrans bridge template, innovating the top frame with a wave-inspired canopy. This piece, which spans 604 feet (the bridge length), consists of 76 custom-welded steel ribs, each almost entirely hand-bent by city steelworkers without the use of sophisticated technology. A custom-designed system of 3500 color-changing LED nodes by Carl Stahl Architektur is also rigged to the frame like a ship’s net and can be left static as a bioluminescent lightscape or programmed to complement music and performances—either option creating a new public space for respire and revelry. 

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Status: Built
Location: Long Beach, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Structural and Civil Engineering: Arup
Lighting: Carl Stahl
Landscape Architect: Hood Design Studio
Photography: John Linden