Typology: Infrastructure - Footbridge
Height above river: 15.5m
Project Status: Competition Entry
In December 2014, Wandsworth Council launched an international competition to design a new bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico in central London. In collaboration with multi-disciplinary engineers IDOM, and Townshend Landscape Architects, UHA London were among a number of shortlisted teams asked to prepare a design proposal.
Our proposal for the Nine Elms Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge offers much more than just a new connection between the two-sides of the river – it creates the opportunity for a new city landmark – physically and visually connecting an established London residential quarter with a brand new one. Achieved with the most efficient engineering solution to span the 150m clear distance required over the water, this simple structural form is poetically veiled, through a series of nimble folds, and wraps to create a sturdy frame. This frame provides a partial canopy, which opens out towards the centre of the bridge, to create a new vantage point over the River Thames. The exterior of the bridge is clad in brushed aluminium panels - creating blurred reflections of the water, sky and passing river traffic - the bridge ‘appears to disappear’ into the distance.
Celebrating the crossing of the river, the journey starts by ascending a grand stair-case to reach the upper deck level - a partially enclosed space that is veiled with perforated structure, to give select glimpses of the river and city beyond, shading and protecting from the elements. Proceeding along the bridge, the veil unfolds revealing the sky and 360 degree views of London, that gradually open up until the center of the bridge is reached. Floating above the center of the River Thames – at the narrowest, thinnest, highest and most delicate part of the bridge - you experi-ence peace, tranquility, vulnerability and weightlessness. After some moments of contemplation, you continue your journey and the veil envelops you once again as you approach and arrive at the opposite bank
Architecture: UHA London / IDOM
Landscape: Townshend Landscape Architects
Lighting: Lighting Design Collective
Cost: Turner & Townsend