Whitbybird win bridge design competition
Whitbybird bridges team has won a design competition held by Derby City Council to design and build a new footbridge over the River Derwent.
The swing bridge forms part of a £3.8 million improvement scheme for Cathedral Green.
Inspiration for the bridge design was drawn from the local textile industry for which Derby is world recognised; the basic form is derived from a tailor’s shears or scissors, in particular the action of the hinged blades as they open and close.
The slender needle-shaped mast rises 20m from the bridge deck which is approximately 55m long, with a width of 2.5m widening to 4.5m at the pivot point allowing ease of movement for pedestrians and cyclists alike. The mast will act as a navigational landmark marking the location
of the bridge and the heart of a premiere new public space.
Reinforcing this space as a valuable ‘green lung’ within the urban area is key to the proposal; the site is one of the few green spaces within the city centre and is highly valued by locals for this reason.
The scheme promotes connectivity across the river as well as creating a meeting place and destination in its own right; it is hoped the bridge’s opening sequence will create a regular visual spectacle for the public. In both its open and closed positions the bridge will provide a route either across the river linking a major new housing scheme to the city centre or it will become the riverside promenade itself and offer no impedance to water flow during flood conditions.