Panel Focuses on the "Lens" at St. Petersburg's Pier

The Lens
The "Lens"
ST. PETERSBURG (2012-1-20) -

A five-member panel has come up with its recommendation to replace the upside-down pyramid at the end of St. Petersburg's Pier - the "Lens." It's the first step in a process that could transform the city's shoreline.

The Lens topped the Wave and the Eye. A panel of architects and city council members unanimously selected the design by Michael Maltzan Architecture. It's figure-eight design juts into Tampa Bay, with a marine aquarium in one of the circles, ending with a building that vaguely resembles the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

James Moore, an urban designer from Tampa and a former architecture professor at USF, focused in on the Lens.

"Compared to the other two, I think the Lens is the best balance of affordability, of an attractor for local residents, and the lowest subsidy," he said. "And that's why it ended up at the top of my list."

The runner-up is the "Wave," which resembles a giant wheel. The judges dropped from consideration the "Eye." St. Petersburg City Council will hold a workshop on Thursday to discuss the rankings, with a vote expected on February 2nd.

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