04 January 2018

Danish Bridges: 2. Knippelsbro, Copenhagen

Knippelsbro is one of only two highway bridges across Copenhagen's inner harbour. It is a bascule bridge, dating from 1937, designed by engineer Godfred Lorenz with Danish architect Kaj Gottlob, with an aesthetic that has lasted well.

It comprises two pairs of bascule leafs, with rear parts acting as counterweights behind the hinges: original drawings can be seen at the Ny Knippelsbro article linked below. I think the division of the bascules into two leafs on each side may have been part of the 1989-1991 refurbishment works.

The side spans appear to be from a different era, with a concrete deck held up by row of stainless steel or stainless steel-clad columns. These seem completely out-of-keeping with the main part of the bridge. The heads of the columns disappear into the slab, which is an odd-looking detail.

The bridge's most distinctive and attractive feature is the pair of copper-clad control towers. These are magnificent, especially with nice features such as the upper balcony and various portholes. They were built entirely prefabricated and lifted into place by a crane.

One of the towers has been converted into a "culture tower", allowing visitors to go inside and experience both the interior of the tower and a variety of small-scale cultural events.

Further information:

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