Footbridge

The residents and staff of the Carlisle Care Center were separated from the residents of Carlisle Center for Assisted Living by an elevation change of nearly three feet and a drainage swale that runs like a river during spring rains. In order to enhance social connections of the residents and better share staffing a link was required.

The “Carlisle Link” is actually a bridge because of the need to span the sometimes-river while keeping the drainage swale unfettered. The link not only serves to connect the occupants, but also the buildings. It was this visual connection that was considered when materials were selected. The link is to remain neutral between the disparate architectures. The link is based on a familiar rural syntax that is at home in the space between the two existing structures. It belongs to both, while being expressive of its unique charge.

The white translucent material panels are common and unexceptional on this rural landscape. The structure’s interior is inviting, light-filled and warm, while being exceptionally simple, making the protected trek an uncommon experience. At nightfall the link becomes exceptional. The luminous form is unlike anything on the landscape and serves as a lantern for the community.