Anglo-German team wins international competition for new bridge in Vienna
The Anglo-German team of Knight Architects and lead consultant Knippers Helbig has won a major international competition organised by the City of Vienna for a new pedestrian bridge in the centre of Vienna.
The 380m long bridge at Margaretengürtel links recreational parkland to the west with Bruno-
Kreisky Park to the east, providing a pedestrian friendly route across a busy traffic corridor. The
linear form of the bridge evolves from the landscape at each end, establishing itself as a new
topographic element. The continuous landscape-like object merges the previously disconnected
parks into a single entity and the sculptural presence of the timber structure is hoped to bring a distinctive new identity to the location. The bridge is intended to be a major new element in an urban environment that includes the Margaretengürtel Station building by Otto Wagner (on the U4 U-Bahn Metro line) amongst its historic neighbours. The massive minimalism and formal simplicity of the new structure is considered in counterpoint to the rich architectural language of the neighbourhood.
The fluid plan alignment follows a gently curved path, which observes strict constraints on where supports can be placed. The curve accelerates at mid span to create a sinuous ‘S’ form at its centre; at this point, the two dimensional path evolves into a three-dimensional place, spanning across the main highway and tramway corridor with tall, asymmetric upstands on opposite sides of the bridge and seating set into the curving, banked sides. The body is an efficient hybrid structure with a glulamcore of spruce layers or ‘lamella’ of varying qualities, depending on the stress level in the particular location, and an outer layer covered by larch lamella which provides durability and good protection against moisture.
In areas of load transfer and peak stresses the timber will be reinforced with threaded steel rods laminated between the lamella. The factory-assembled units will be transported to site in
manageable segments of up to 2m x 2m x 20m where they will be bolted together and installed
onto insitu concrete plinths, which provide protection against highway impact. The robust
construction method combines with the concept of a semi-integral bridge to significantly reduce