The Living Link

Structural Designer

Smith and Wallwork; Cambridge University, Department of Architecture

Client Name

The Woodland Trust; WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental)


Cambridge, United Kingdom


This project provides an interesting twist to the concept of ‘sustainability’ by creating a pedestrian bridge out of willow that is alive and still growing.  No steel has been used, only timber from the area in the form of poles and wicker work. The completed bridge is 2.1m wide and spans 4m.  The arch was woven in situ over the water and the deck was woven upright in two halves, jointed together by more weave and lifted into position with the ends planted in the banks.

Judge's comment:

The judges admire this experimental project which explores new sustainable solutions. They found the living willow bridge not only a beautiful example of design and construction, but a wonderful educational piece that would bring a smile to every visitor’s face.