For the majority of its run, the L.A. River isn’t particularly pretty, especially in this stretch of the San Fernando Valley where it’s nothing more than a concrete-lined, trash-strewn chute. But the designers at wHY Architecture used the battered riverbed to their creative advantage, dreaming up a bridge with reclaimed materials like bottles, cans, tires, and yes, shopping carts, all found in the river below. The Art Bridge, which would connect two neighborhoods in Valley Glen,is named as such because it also serves as a viewing spot for a mural that lines the river’swalls.
And how is this bridge of floating-trash going to work? The shopping cart material would be fabricated new, but used, fittingly, for the railings. The reclaimed materials like plastic and glass would find its way into the layers of concrete andbe easily visible on the exterior. But is playing up the blocky concrete and bringing L.A.’s waterlogged trash front-and-center really the best way to connect pedestrians to the river’s revitalization? And who’s in charge of picking up all that trash to begin with? I say wHY Architecture has to keep on building bridges until the whole darn river is clean.