Architects Create a New Take on the Drawbridge and It’s Awesome
3 years ago
We like bridges here at ViralNova, and we’re sorry this footbridge in London wasn’t completed when we compiled a list of some of the world’s coolest bridges.
Pedestrians in Paddington, London, needed to cross the Grand Union Canal, which is about 20 meters wide, but boats use the canal as well. To fill the needs of both, Knight Architects, who specialize in bridges, teamed up with structural and civil engineers AKT II to create a sleek, modern take on the drawbridge.
The wedge-shaped, raised pieces on the left side of the bridge (next to the grass) are part of the 40-ton counterweight that helps balance the beams and reduce the energy needed to lift them.
The Merchant Square Bridge, as it’s known, was inspired by the folding and unfolding motions of paper fans, and is constructed from five steel beams that raise and lower in a sequence, each at a different angle, by way of hydraulic jacks and counterweights. The architects describe it as both beautiful and efficient, and we tend to agree.
When raised, the bridge provides enough clearance for boats to pass through safely.
The bridge will serve as a pedestrian walkway when it’s lowered, and when it’s raised, it will not only be high enough to let boats pass, but will also cast a striking silhouette. Its designers regard it as not only a functional bridge that will allow pedestrians mobility, but also as a “kinetic sculpture” that can serve as a cultural landmark.
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