The Capital Cascades Crossing Pedestrian Bridge serves as key connection between Cascades Park and Capital Cascades Trail, near Florida’s Capitol building, in Tallahassee.
The challenges were to provide a responsive design using light for enhancing the bridge structure at night and as a visual acknowledgment of surrounding stakeholder entities, coupled with an environmental message stressing low energy use and self-sustainability. Bridge columns spring from grade at unique angles to support organically inspired sunshade elements offering a contemporary interpretation of the city’s renowned tree canopy roads. Just south of downtown, the bridge is viewed from above and below by vehicular traffic, obliquely from passersby, and first-hand by those crossing on foot or bike.
A ground-mounted white-light LED luminaire accents each column, where thoughtful aiming minimizes distractions for drivers and diminishes stray light. Installed in the interior column surfaces, dynamic RGB fixtures fitted with a custom mounting brackets produce indirect uplighting effects that envelope pedestrians, making them a part of the overall bridge environment. Spill light is minimized by the use of both glare shields and holographic beam-shaping lenses to sculpt distributions sympathetic to the individual canopy geometries. The color-changing canopy lights create dynamic effects that harmonize with other existing RGB-based park projects through centralized DMX controls. Effects include colors for seasons, holidays, “cause” awareness, and celebratory reinforcement for nearby Florida State and Florida A&M Universities, all centrally choreographed through a computer.
The design included the assimilation of cutting-edge, flexible solar collectors atop the sunshades. The “solar fabric” provides 115% of the total bridge lighting power throughout the year. As one of the country’s most eco-friendly pedestrian bridges, the Capital Cascades Crossing has become a signature, sustainable icon of Tallahassee.
Photography: © Figg Bridge Group