Tulsa I-244 Pedestrian Bridge: MSE Formliner Patterns
The pedestrian bridge crossing the Arkansas River in Tulsa has a series of concrete retaining walls associated with it. These walls are made of MSE precast panels. These panels have surface relief patterns cast into them to provide a level of interest to an otherwise monolithic wall. The modular system allows for the exploration of pattern, rhythm and texture. This simple and effective method improves a concrete wall and enhances a site.
We used Tulsa’s deep Art Deco history as an inspiration to tie all the aspects of the project together. The same source pattern motif influenced the cut metal patterns, the handrail brackets, the striping dashes, and the concrete pattern panels.
Through a process of exploration, we transformed the source pattern into a system of pattern units that, while different, share the same language and work together. We mirrored, shifted and edited the source pattern to generate the new patterns. Mindful of the way the units would be placed next to each other, in a staggered grid, we ensured that each unit would flow onto and connect to all the other units. We also established a variety of pattern density, from an almost blank unit, to increasingly full patterns. This allows for more interesting patterns to emerge when the units are placed together.
We laid out patterns to gain and understanding of how the units work together. We generated patterns that emphasize rhythm and texture. This adds visual interest. A pattern that moves and changes is more interesting than a static expression.