The means restriction project for Cornell and the City of Ithaca addresses the sensitive and difficult program of modifying seven bridges to help prevent accidental or purposeful falling. The program, site, constituent views and varying tectonics create a complex and energized set of parameters requiring nuanced and sophisticated solutions. The bridges, as part of the iconic gorges that define the broader context, have become instrumental to understanding the connections between Ithaca, the University, and the broader community. Understanding their identity lies at the foundation of this design and better ties the functional requirements of the means restriction program to each specific site.
The seven bridges included in this project share many common conditions. However, each bridge, with its characteristically unique structure, inhabitation, and purpose, responds to specific conditions imposed by the landscape and the built environments at each end. As each unique bridge works within the broader family, the means restriction design proposals operate similarly. A limited number of materials and methods are adopted to link the bridges together while allowing for the accommodations required, addressing the inherent complexities of each bridge.