19 October 2012

Brayford Level Crossing Footbridge, Lincoln

Network Rail has released images of a proposed new footbridge at Brayford Wharf East level crossing in Lincoln. This is the first of two architect-designed level-crossing footbridge schemes in the town intended to combat persistent mis-use of the level crossings. Images have been provided for public consultation in advance of a planning consent submission to be made in December.

The Brayford Wharf scheme is by Stem Architects, and by the standards of what Network Rail normally throw up for pedestrians, is architecturally somewhat extravagant. While I'm all in favour of context-sensitive design rather than simply dropping in identikit bridges, it seems at odds with the organisation's initiatives elsewhere to develop a more adaptable range of standard footbridge types.

Based purely on the images, my first reaction is it's over-wrought, a mass of texture that seems unnecessarily weighty. Although some transparent panels have been inserted into the elevation, there seems little interest in opening up the bridge user's views outwards, which strikes me as a key challenge given Network Rail's normal over-prescriptive approach to bridge design.

No comments: