Team announced to design bridge in central Copenhagen

Nick Myall
Wednesday 08 Jul 2015

A multidisciplinary group has been selected from a shortlist of five competing teams to design an opening pedestrian and cycle bridge across Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour

WilkinsonEyre, BuroHappold Engineering and Urban Agency have been selected to deliver a new bridge across Copenhagen harbour that will form an elegant sweeping curve reconnecting the two misaligned areas of Vester Voldgade and Langebrogade.

Peter Cederfeld, CEO of Realdania Byg said: "The winning proposal combines a clear and compelling concept with a strong design team to provide Copenhagen with a new high-quality bridge that both the city and its residents can be proud of.”

The bridge has been designed as a simple response to the site constraints; from the eastern quayside, the deck rises up gently to clear the 5.4m high shipping channel, before descending back down to the quay on the opposite side. The form of the two triangular steel edge beams gradually changes as the bridge crosses the water. At the quaysides, the wing-like boxes are angled downwards below the deck, thereby encouraging views up and down the quayside promenades. However, as the bridge traverses the water, the wings gradually twist skyward, thereby maximising the clearance below deck and providing a degree of enclosure and a perceived sense of security at mid-span. 

The varying cross section appears to float lightly above the water and minimises the visual impact on the adjacent Langebro Bridge. The alignment of the bridge reconnects the city to the ramparts of Christianshavn and encourages the use of this important recreational space. The overall appearance of the bridge is a compelling and graceful arc which acts as a visual device that will not only draw users towards it, but also draws them across it as they seek to discover what is beyond.

The continuously flowing lines of the bridge offer no clues as to how the bridge opens. Instead, the two opening spans create an element of surprise as they pivot on their supports and swing apart at mid-span. This opening motion will become a spectacle for viewers to enjoy and will result in a 35m wide shipping channel.

The project will be implemented by client, Realdania, with the city of Copenhagen. Realdania is gifting the bridge to the city to support the development and accessibility of Copenhagen harbour.

The full team comprises BuroHappold as project lead and engineer with architectural design by WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency. Additional support is provided by NIRAS A/S, Eadon Consulting and Speirs + Major.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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