19 July 2014

Footbridge Awards 2014 winners

The winners of the 2014 Footbridge Awards were announced a few days ago at the Footbridge 2014 conference in London. I'll hopefully have more to say about the conference soon, but for now, here are the winning bridges. I posted the full shortlist previously.

I will keep my own comments to a minimum, but would welcome further opinions via the blog comments facility.

Short span
Winner - Smedenpoort Twin Bridges, Bruges, Belgium - Ney and Partners
This is a truly flabbergasting design. I doubt that many engineers other than Ney and Partners would have had the faith that they could make such slenderness work.

Highly Commended - Bleichwiesensteg, Backnang, Germany - Schlaich Bergermann and Partners
I keep staring at this bridge design and wondering about its peculiarly upside-down quality - the compression strut and tension hinge look like they should be a tension tie and compression hinge.

Highly Commended - Campusbrücke Opladen, Germany - Knippers Helbig / Knight Architects
I'm not 100% sure that I understand this bridge, which is geometrically complex and difficult to "get" from just one image, but I do love the use of simple patterns to generate considerable visual interest.

Highly Commended - Vluchthaven Bridge, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ney and Partners
I'm not sure what I like better about this, the rail-less balustrades, or the folded steel plate deck.

Medium span
Winner - Jarrold Bridge, Norwich, UK - Ramboll
Discussed here back in 2012.

Highly Commended - Geniedijk Bridge, Netherlands -
I can't find a lot of information on this bridge on the internet. The V-shaped theme and use of weathering steel are attractive, as is the detailing, but I do dislike bridges with 3m tall anti-vandal barriers - are they really necessary, or did the client only think they would be?

Highly Commended - Slinky Bridge, Oberhausen, Germany - Schlaich Bergermann and Partners / Tobias Rehberger
When I first saw pictures of this bridge, I found its frivolity, particularly the "slinky" spiral itself, somewhat garish and dispiriting. Closer examination reveals a very well detailed stressed ribbon bridge, and what looks to be an attractive and jolly combination of colour and shape.

Highly Commended - Media City Footbridge, Salford, UK - Wilkinson Eyre / Ramboll
I visited this bridge in 2011.

Long span
Winner - Bow River Bridge, Banff, Canada - StructureCraft
This was up against some pretty impressive competition on the long span shortlist. It's unusual to see timber in bridges this long (an 80m central span), certainly of the beam type.

Highly commended - Peace Bridge, Londonderry, UK - AECOM / Wilkinson Eyre
Sometimes it seems there is little more to be said in the hi-tech, modernist style which Wilkinson Eyre have made their own, but the Peace Bridge is something new within that space (overlapping self-anchored suspension spans), and also a very well detailed example of how it should be done.

Winner - Mala Panew River Bridge, Poland
The write-up in the Awards booklets indicates this to be an exemplary restoration and strengthening of a historic bridge, built in 1827. A paper was presented at the conference, but I can find no useful information on the project online.

Jonathan Speirs footbridge lighting award
Winner - Castle Green Bridge, Taunton, UK - LDA Design / Moxon Architects / Flint and Neill
This strikes me as the sort of design that the late Dan Flavin would have put forward if he were designing visitor access ramps rather than minimalist art installations. That can only be a good thing, in my opinion.


Bridge Ink said...

The Peace Bridge at Londonderry appears to be a cleaner version of the Herrenkrug Bridge at Magdeburg, Germany.
, www.flickr.com/search/?w=77136894@N00&q=Herrenkrug%20Bridge

Unknown said...

The link to the timber Bow River Pedestrian Bridge needs updating - http://www.structurecraft.com/projects/bow-river-pedestrian-bridge

The Happy Pontist said...