Location: London, United Kingdom
Client: Wandsworth Council
Serie participated in the invited competition to design a new pedestrian and cycle bridge for the thames to connect the Nine Elms development on the south side with Dolphin Square and Pimlico on the north. Serie worked with Buro Happold, Gross Max and Gardiner & Theobald to produce this entry.
The bridge is not just a connector but a place itself. It celebrates the act of crossing by having at its centre a 10m wide viewing deck, a place to look out across the river and city beyond. As cyclists ride this moment will be a special place as this is where their route crests and they see an expanse of space before heading downhill.
It learns from thinness and intricacy of Victorian engineering. Constructed in steel and using a simple arched truss, the design follows a lineage of iron structures of Britain from the great railway stations of the capital to the Iron- bridge of Shropshire.
By stacking paths ultimate thinness and lightness is achieved. This allows for the bridge to be closely integrated into the city fabric. Stacking also helps minimise the length of ramps allowing the cycle route to be seamlessly connected to the existing traffic system and have a smaller landing on the river bank.
There are two distinct routes for cyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists follow the base of the arch, pedestrians are on the deck above in a double-decker configuration. When the base and deck meet at the apex of the arch the cyclists and pedestrians are side by side.
Cyclists cycle straight on and off the bridge with minimal ramps. As the 4m wide cycle path follows the curve of the arch, the amount of ramps is minimised making for a smooth transition from street cycling to bridge cycling. Escalators and two lifts take pedestrians up to the top deck for a comfortable walk across the bridge along a 4m wide path with excellent views.
The two routes are side by side at the top of the arch. Both routes have a slight swerve to either side and as the arch climbs the two paths run along side one another creating a celebration of activity at an open platform in the centre of the bridge.