Architectural Concept - Pedestrian Living Bridge
The load-bearing structure of the bridge is located below the level of the bridge deck. The structure does not disrupt the treeline or try to civilise the natural domain. The bridge is carefully integrated into the landscape and does not form a trajectory that is thrust through it. The experience for the bridge user is therefore not about reaching a destination on the other side of the river but is an enjoyable social interaction with nature.
Because of the dense and mature planting on the riverbanks and islands, it is difficult to gain a vantage point whereby the whole of the crossing can be viewed at once. Each of the six spans can be appreciated as a discrete crossing in its own right, forming a composition in the landscape that has human scale and that is more visually balanced than a larger span that can only be viewed in increments. The six spans are visually articulated as a series of individual leaps from pier to pier. This arrangement is expressive of the manner in which the bridge spans from island to island, and is evocative of a stone skimming across the water.
The curved route and multiple spans serve to fragment the crossing psychologically as well as visually. The bridge is experienced by the pedestrian not as a man-made intervention that has been thrust across the water, but is carefully and sensitively integrated into this unique site.
As described earlier, the bridge is formed from a string of cable-trusses, with high-tensile steel cables supporting the bridge deck from beneath via a series of steel compression members. These compression elements extend above the bridge deck to provide support to the handrail.
The geometric combination of the under-slung cables and constant inclination of compression members connecting cables and deck provides for a width of deck and distance between parapets that constantly changes along the length of each span. In this way, the edges of the structure appear to gently undulate. This causes the handrail, truss cables and bridge deck to meander gracefully as they traverse the water, imparting a sense of effortless fluidity to the bridge.
Between individual spans, the bridge is supported from sculpted steel piers. The bridge deck is widened at these locations so that natural "node" points are created. Seating and shelter is provided at the node points to provide shelter, and to encourage their use as stopping points and to enhance an appreciation of the natural environment of the crossing.
In summary, the proposed cable truss design is considered to be appropriate to the site for the following reasons:
• The bridge is at low level, and "tip-toes" across the river to maintain the distinctive environment.
• The bridge is integrated into the natural environment and is not thrust across it.
• The use of multiple spans and curving route, break-down the scale of the crossing and enhance its' visual and physical integration into the site.
• The cable-truss is utilized as a structural device to minimize visual impact of the bridge itself.
• The refuges located at the node points will encourage social interaction.
See link Shannon Images UL Bridge