Swing Bridge to Dinosaur Island

Structural Designer


Client Name

Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs


Crystal Palace Park, London, UK

Tonkin Liu

Cake Industries

  Images: © 1&2 - James Balston, 3 - Stuart Chambers


A moving pedestrian footbridge, offering a direct connection to Dinosaur Sculptures in Crystal Palace Park, a Grade 1 listed structure in London. The character of the bridge is defined by the many innovative solutions that allowed for efficient fabrication and erection.

Submitted in 2021

Judge's comment:

This moving pedestrian footbridge enables secure access to the Grade I listed Dinosaur Sculptures located within a waterway in Crystal Palace Park, London. The creative design offered a simple and robust solution that elegantly responded to the needs of the client.  

The bridge features several innovative solutions that allowed for efficient fabrication and erection and came to define the character of the bridge.  A central ‘spine beam’ carries loads from the bridge deck down to the central reinforced concrete foundation. The bridge deck, handrail, and support stays were formed from a ‘comb structure’ welded to the central spine beam.  Once laser-cut, the steel sheets could be manipulated by the fabrication team to create the undulating geometry.  
The bridge was made possible through generous donations and pro-bono time.  Working to a tight budget required the design to be materially efficient and therefore more sustainable, and the project acted as a catalyst to draw the local community together. 

This intricate piece of work demonstrates practical engineering, real value, and a sculptural aesthetic. 

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