02 May 2011
Selfridges Footbridge, Birmingham
The now-defunct Future Systems were a firm with a very distinctive architectural style, a cross between sixties day-glo and 21st century blobitecture. They were never noted for their bridges, indeed other than the subject of this post, the structure at West India Quay may have been their only other completed span.
The Selfridges building, which has a fascinating interior with a lovely atrium, is somewhat intransigent on the outside, with its silver-speckled mass offering little idea of its layout or purpose, with no windows and a minimum of other openings. How do you use a bridge to create a gateway into such a place?
Structurally, it is neither innovative nor hugely interesting, although clearly it must have been a complete bastard to assemble.
The bridge was designed by Future Systems and Arup, and built by O'Rourke.