Innovative swing bridge allows pedestrians to ride on bridge as it opens and closes
The black steel bridge over the River Hull has a distinctive robust character and curving form, making it a memorable landmark that is unique to Hull and its industrial and maritime heritage. The winning entry in an international design competition, the bridge has been built to the original concept by the competition team, main contractor and M&E engineers Qualter Hall, architects McDowell+Benedetti and structural engineers Alan Baxter Associates.
The scheme includes a new landscaped garden and square by landscape architects Grontmij with lighting by Sutton Vane Associates and an integrated public artwork by Nayan Kulkarni. Located in Kingston upon Hull east of Hull city centre the bridge connects Hull’s Old Town Conservation Area to the undeveloped industrial landscape of the east bank. Designed as the first stage of a wider masterplan it will unlock the potential of the riverside to promote wider regeneration in the areas east of the city centre.
The 16m diameter drum of the bridge sits snugly into the raised river bed on the west bank and cantilevers 35m over the water to the east side. The spine of the bridge arches up and over the river, allowing enough room for smaller boats to pass under without opening the bridge, and rotates using an electrical drive mechanism to open to river traffic when required.
Artist Nayan Kulkarni has created a public artwork on the bridge, a sonic landscape in which to enjoy the riverscape. When the bridge opening is activated a new sequence of rhythmic bells is triggered which increases in urgency and combines with a pulsing light developed by Sutton Vane Associates. At night low level fluorescents integrated into the parapet posts light the profile of the bridge and bring colour and sparkle to the blackened industrial riverscape.