This continues our report of the opening and dedication of the PAOLO SOLERI BRIDGE AND PLAZA.

The public opening and dedication was held on Saturday, December 11, with festivities and events throughout the day. The official dedication ceremonies and speakers were scheduled between 11 am and 2 pm.

Will Bruder and  Paolo Soleri with his grandson, Julian Timm.

[photo: David DeGomez]

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lain spoke to a large crowd.

[photo: David DeGomez]

Scottsdale Public Arts Program Director and Scottsdale Cultural Council Vice President Valerie Vadala Homer spoke under a parasol.

[photo: David DeGomez]

The speakers talked about the long effort to bring the bridge from design to physical presence and thanked Paolo Soleri for the beautiful bridge. The Mayor presented Paolo Soleri with a dedication plaque and Mary Hoadley read Paolo Soleri’s comments.

Paolo Soleri’s comments:

The Bridge
In the fractured culture we live in, it might be of some interest, the physical and metaphysical character of bridging. In this case the pedestrian bridge and the site are favoring the notion of encounter and conviviality. To make a sort of recognition of the sun, the condition sine qua non of life, the bridge is also a sun dial daily for solar noon, a good start. In context we have a landscape, the water of the Arizona canal, the residential background, the Sun Bridge itself and the people.

As I don’t believe in a fait accompli, but I trust the nimbleness of things, it is the process that influences the eventually finished product. In this case it is the bridging faculty of the structure that should impact the produced environ.

I count on having the users and visitors find pleasure in a passegiata between the two sides of the canal so much so as to strongly suggest the (re) introduction of the millennial use of the parasol. Imagine Scottsdale and Phoenix invaded by pedestrians, rediscovering the use of their limbs and of their conversational skills to generate the urban sense now so foreign in the segregational daily cycles we live in. Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Europeans during the Renaissance, all had the parasol for efficient, inexpensive daily use and ritualistic presence….Get going Scottsdale and winter sunbirds!

The car, a $30,000 device has taken the legs off the city dwellers and some of their health. A $10 device, the parasol, could help in giving back to them the use of theirs and cut off a good chunk of health cost from their life. A 20 minute daily walk, parasol assisted, would do wonders for our lives now at risk through obesity and attendant illnesses, but not a walk in a deserted asphalt and walls-of-non-place suburbia, but in a truly urban landscape among congenial people. A good lean habit.

The geometries of the bridge are elementary, cylinders and cables. The material, stainless steel, gives a sense of strength and permanence, the pylons separated by a 6” gap produces a sunlight shaft that is an indicator of season and hours of the day. The height of the two pylons responds to a presence desired by the city’s fathers.

Greenery and trees are to be a necessary and welcome punctuation of the whole layout that, to be repetitive, wants to be an all seasons place of conviviality.
[photo: sue]


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