Meads Reach Bridge

Winner of Award for

Pedestrian Bridges - 2010

Client Name

Castlemore Securities

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This cycle and pedestrian bridge is both an outstanding work of art and a highly innovative structure. The deceptively simple solution is a key feature of the Temple Quay regeneration in Bristol, an area of this major city that had been in a rundown condition since the Second World War.

The structure is a single box with integral up-stands. The geometry is complex, with variation in depth, curvature in elevation and variation in width across the span. It is entirely fabricated from stainless steel, with internal stiffening to improve structural efficiency. Laser cutting and bespoke software were used to cut the stainless steel plates, which were then formed into the final geometry as a series of interconnected cylindrical components. This combined accuracy with economy in the fabrication process.

A unique feature of the design was the introduction of perforations throughout the exposed surfaces. Over 55,000 holes of differing radii were laser cut in the stainless steel surface. Their sizes differ according to stress levels across the bridge. High stress levels correspond to smaller diameter holes and vice versa. With internal lighting, the appearance of the bridge is constantly varying- reflective by day and internally glowing by night. In the latter case, the structural forces within the bridge become explicit as a flowing pattern across its skin.

In addition to its essential contribution to the appearance of the structure, the use of stainless steel also minimises life cycle costing since the structure will not require painting for its full life span.

Judge's comment:

"Both an outstanding work of art and a highly innovative structure. The deceptively simple solution is a key feature of the Temple Quay regeneration in Bristol."