Frederic Schwartz Architects

RIVER DOUGLAS BRIDGE

River Douglas, Lancashire County, United Kingdom
2008

Bridge over the River Douglass

The structural tool for this pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the River Douglas near Becconsall in Lancashire County, UK is the basic arch, which in its common form typically has equal employment on both banks with even load application inherent in its efficiency. In the form proposed, the crown of the typical arch is simply shifted towards one bank of the river with its resulting energy focused on its single point of support for the bridge deck.

The height of the bridge’s arch and its ionic form creates an identity for the planned greenway, for the wetlands park, and for the region. The clear structure not only creates a powerful sculptural form, it also eliminates the need for any bridge supports–allowing the River Douglas to flow unimpeded–and enables the arch of the deck path to be minimized, simplifying crossing.

The structure of the bridge is constructed primarily of zinc galvanized steel beams and cables to resist corrosion, with a warm, natural Cor-Ten finish for the arch. While steel requires a higher initial investment than some materials, its durability greatly reduces long-term maintenance costs and symbolizes the enduring changes REMADE is making in the region. The walkway is covered in sustainably harvested timber decking to create a safe, nonskid surface, with a steel cabled balustrade (echoing the bridge’s support cables) and a tactile wooden handrail with wave-like terminal ridges indicating the boundaries of the bridge. Materials will be locally or regionally sourced whenever possible, and recycled materials will be preferred in keeping with the sustainable mission of the park.

Bridge over the River Douglas

 

Bridge over the River Douglas

   
   

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