26 May 2011

Landsberg footbridge competition winner

Knippers Helbig have kindly sent me details of their recent competition-winning design for a footbridge in Landsberg, Germany, won jointly with Birk und Heilmeyer Architects. I can't offer any information on the context of the competition, but the bridge spans a small river, and is a very unusual sculpted timber structure.

It builds on some of the ideas in their Margaretengürtel design for Vienna, which I discussed here last March, although with a much simpler geometry. The Vienna bridge was formed of a series of horizontal timber layers, glued together like wind-eroded stone strata. In Landsberg, the timber is turned vertical but the contour-like sculpting is the same, with a varying depth timber spine reflecting the bending moment distribution, and a raised bank of timber above the main pier, where the bridge kinks in plan. This provides enhanced structural stiffness but also establishes a seating and viewing area.

The timber layers will be glue-laminated together, and presumably also stressed together with tie bolts, as was the case both on the Margaretengürtel proposal and on their even more sculptural entry to the I-70 Wildlife Crossing competition (again, covered here previously).

It's an attractive design, and it would be nice to see one of these actually get built!

Click on any image for a full-size version. 

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