Merit - SCUP Excellence in Landscape for General Design

Fairleigh Dickinson University

FDU Spirit Bridge
Fairleigh Dickinson University - FDU Spirit Bridge
Jury Comments
“. . . loved the concept of taking a connector/infrastructure element and converting it to a destination . . . beautiful and thoughtful . . . shows how good design can transform spaces and doesn’t require an entirely new structure . . .”


    • Site – 200 lf plus work at the abutments
    • The bridge is the only pedestrian link between two halves of the campus.
    • The bridge is home to a variety of outdoor rooms.
    • Neighbors and friends from the surrounding community have incorporated it into their daily lives.


This project began as a bridge restoration. After initial discussions, the facilities department and designers quickly recognized the potential for the bridge to reflect, via a holistic replacement strategy, the university’s commitment to ecological health and social wellness. The densely planted garden path replaces a crumbling concrete-and-chain-link walkway to connect FDU’s split campuses. The bridge is designed to reflect and restore the native ecosystem. It affirms the university’s commitment to stewardship of the river and embodies the ongoing transformation of the campus into a sustainable eco-park for increasing landscape resiliency and human well-being. It has become the heart of the campus—a learning landscape delivering a place for formal education, university events, and the chance encounters so important to academic life.

Project Team

Viridian Landscape Studio; BEAM Ltd.; Maser Consulting; ICI Consultants, Inc.; Roofmeadow; Bruce Brooks Associates; Big R Bridge