In Dallas, a Bridge by Calatrava

General / People / Places / March 5, 2012

Cecelia Feld is a Dallas-based painter, printmaker and photographer.

She’s also owns the gift of timing.

Back in May 2011, she accompanied a videographer from the Trinity Trust shooting the construction of Santiago Calatrava’s new span over the Trinity River in Dallas.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which opened to much fanfare Saturday night, links downtown with West Dallas, a community that’s been neglected for decades.

“I was able to go there on a morning in May at eight o’clock,” she says.  “It was one of those ‘Oh-My-God!,’ beautiful-blue-Texas-sky mornings – when you say it’s really nice to work in Texas.”

She covered the site like the morning dew, working both sides – shooting up, back, down and across.  Though the complex web of cables was far from complete, she still managed to capture their form and interconnectivity, all in the abstract. 

She did not neglect the environment.

“One shot shows the bridge in context, with yellow flowers across a field,” she says.  “I took that photograph knowing that someday the field won’t be there, because of the plans for development of the Trinity River bottom area.  There are going to be acres and acres of roadways, parks and water features.”

The bridge is freighted with multiple meanings.  For the citizens of Dallas, it stands for a reunification of two parts of town, long separated.  For the developers, there’s plenty of opportunity.  And for the aesthetes in town, used to dropping names like Foster, Pei, Maynes, Koolhaas and Piano as they speak of local landmarks, it’s one more feather in their cap.

So it’s about art, but function too.  “It’s a beautiful way to get from one part of Dallas to another,” she says.  “It’s a symbol of what we aspire to be, and a beautiful sculptural addition to the city.”

“The Bridge,” her exhibition of photography, is on display through April 15 at the Dallas Center for Architecture.  It depicts Calatrava’s sculpture as it’s being worked on – a bridge in the state of becoming, in the place for which it was designed.

“The white light was glistening against the Texas sky,” she says.  “It was like white shoelaces being tied onto bright blue sneakers.”

There’s nothing so poetic as a photographer with a sense of timing – unless it’s one who understands the power of metaphor.

For more on Cecelia Feld, go to http://www.studio7310.com/

For more on Santiago Calatrava, go to http://www.calatrava.com/

For more on the Dallas Center for Architecture, go to http://dallascfa.com/

For more on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, go to http://www.thetrinitytrust.org/


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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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6 Comments

on March 5, 2012

We were there for the opening festivities Friday and Saturday. Sunrise, sunset, night time with fireworks, bright sunny day with a mild breeze – any time, from any angle, this bridge is photogenic. Santiago Calatrava was a good sport and participated fully in 3 days of events, posing for photos and making speeches. I’ll share some night time photos taken Friday from the center of the bridge. They look like computer graphics. Quite unreal. The only unfortunate aspect is that this is a road bridge only. No bikes, no pedestrians.

on March 5, 2012

Yes, a fantastic three-day celebration called Bridging The Trinity: For The Love Of The City.

Julie–Even though the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will be a vehicular bridge, the Continental Avenue Bridge will be transformed into a pedestrian bridge in the next couple of years. Since Continental is nearly parallel and right next to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the view and access will be spectacular once it’s open. Then it will be time for another bridge celebration!

on March 5, 2012

Ms. Feld took brilliant shots and the bridge will be forever inscribed in my memory as “white shoelaces being tied onto bright blue sneakers.” Marvelous!

on March 5, 2012

Cecila Felds photo’s were stunning.

on March 5, 2012

Cecelia, thanks for the great photos. Number 2 is a particular favorite for the juxtaposition of the rust with startling white cables. I was at a “Bridge Party” Friday night in One Arts where we had a glorious view of the lights changing colors on the bridge and all the lovely fireworks. This is a lovely addition to our city and I hope we will get the next TWO built soon.

on March 6, 2012

C,
The photos are great-the quotes are memorable. Beauty and brains. thank you.



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