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Bridge/Sustainability Institute
Image of the Bridge/Sustainability Proposal



View the Bridge/Sustainability Institute FINAL PROPOSAL [PDF 12 MB] >>


View the Bridge/Sustainability Institute Concept Proposal >>


View the Bridge/Sustainability Institute presentation from the June 17, 2013 public meeting >>


About the Proposal

Sustainability is the defining issue of our time. As Rationality was to the 18th century, Sustainability represents a new global ethic to transform the way we treat one another and our planet – it will define how we advance into the future. But acceptance of this ethic has not yet reached its tipping point. The transition to Sustainability as a new way of life requires an actively engaged citizenry and informed decision makers at all levels of society. New types of public institutions are needed that bring people together to collaborate, learn, discover, invent and dream. We need more places for our poets to talk to our scientists, our activists to our CEOs, our friends and neighbors to each other. 
The BRIDGE/SUSTAINABILITY INSTITUTE will be that place – a place to explore the critical social, economic and environmental issues of our time. Rotating exhibits will showcase today’s key challenges, from water conservation to labor practices. Lectures and public forums will give us all the chance to work with local politicians, academics and corporate leaders to develop a coordinated, regional climate action plan, or to write policy that makes healthy, locally sourced food more accessible. Parents will bring their children to learn about the wetlands restoration that transformed this precious site back to its natural state. The café will offer food that was sustainably and equitably sourced, and the Sustainability Marketplace will highlight each product’s environmental and social rating.
The BRIDGE will be the actual building and its surrounding landscape – itself a case study in sustainable building technologies. It will be a living laboratory offering indoor/outdoor spaces for exhibits, events, learning, screenings, a café, a marketplace, and most importantly, places for the public to gather and interact.
The SUSTAINABILITY INSTITUTE will be the collaborative research arm of the Bridge – the public face of regional, national and international research institutions. It will bring together scientists, bloggers, engineers, artists, CEOs, educators and politicians to pursue focused, thematic research on the social and environmental issues of our time. Work conducted at the Sustainability Institute will be shared with the public via exhibits, lectures, forums and screenings at the Bridge.
Few sites on earth are blessed with such views as these – the bay, the hills, the bridge, the city, and the dynamic movement of water and weather. From this unique and unparalleled vantage point, we can see what we’ve built, what we’ve conserved, where we have been and where we are going – one of our nation’s gateways to the world, it is at the edge of the new. This site is about opportunity, connection and threshold. It is a place of national and international significance. An Independence Hall of the West. A National Park. What belongs here is the most public of things because this place belongs to all of us. It deserves an idea important and global in its significance and meaning – a cultural institution that holds at its core the human condition. The Bridge/Sustainability Institute will be such a place.


About the Team 
Our team is led by Chora and WRNS Studio, with SWA Group, Dean Weldon, and Sherwood Design Engineers.
Chora is a creative, problem-solving firm that specializes in master planning and institution building, from initial concepts to fundraising, implementation, and operation. Their client base includes museums, science centers, nonprofits, corporations, and foundations. Chora’s hallmark approach seamlessly integrates education, entertainment, and scholarship to create relevant, contemporary, self-sustaining organizations. With a proven track record in museum development, management and leadership, Chora creates institutions that combine creative earned-income opportunities with effective education and philanthropy.
WRNS Studio is a 60-person architecture firm located in San Francisco. They help create places for work, play, education, and civic engagement. This diversity sets them apart: WRNS Studio brings to each new project a point of view informed by all of the other work in which they engage, resulting in fresh ideas that push clients and themselves to imagine what’s possible. Place, mission, context, technical innovation and resource conservation compel their every move. WRNS Studio was recently honored with the AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award, and several AIA design awards. Clients include The Trust for Public Land, the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco State University, UCSF, Stanford, Adobe and Intuit.  
SWA Group has been recognized as one of the world’s design leaders in the fields of landscape architecture, planning, and urban design for over 50 years. They have received more than 600 awards and have worked in 47 states and over 40 countries. Their principals are among the industry’s most talented and experienced designers and planners. While one of the largest firms of its type in the world, SWA is organized into small, local studio-based offices that enhance creativity and client responsiveness.
Dean Weldon is a skilled museum professional with nearly 40 years experience in the industry. He is committed to providing high-quality exhibit design and fabrication services to museums around the world. With roots in design and sculpture, Dean takes an active role in the initial design phase as well as overseeing the overall direction of design and fabrication teams.
Sherwood Design Engineers is a civil and environmental engineering firm providing next generation planning and implementation services. Sherwood Design Engineers has worked on over 50 award-winning projects and seen its work published internationally.
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