I'm a heavy guy looking to lose some weight. So when I'm looking at these designs, the one that catches my eye and interest the most is easily the Lens. The entire structure is striking, and the way the upper path that leads to the main building is almost solely for jogging and biking makes that design the most attractive to me.
Plus, just look at it. That's a nice piece of architecture. That's a landmark I could actually be proud of. I can see myself growing older and still taking walks along all those pathways, looking at shops with my grandchildren and telling them about the upside-down ship building that made up the wonderful coral reef flocked with tourists.
When I look at the other designs I just don't feel that surge of excitement I feel when I look at the Lens. The Wave looks a bit like a Hot Wheels track and the design known as the Eye looks a bit too much like a parachute on a beach, which doesn't excite me in the slightest.
My reaction to the other concepts may be a little too harsh, but the only pier I can see myself enjoying until my retirement is the one with fluid design and potential for beautiful views and great tourist commerce. Since I'm a teenager, I guess I should also use a hip, age-appropriate word to sum up my feelings. So the Lens is … radical. I suppose.
AJ Valdes is a senior at Lakewood High in St. Petersburg and a staff writer for tb-two*, the Times' weekly newspaper and website for high schools.