for Nine Elms Bridge

London’s rich history and forward-thinking character are evident throughout its built environment. Our proposal for the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge Competition gives a nod to the city’s heritage with a design that plays on the idea of futuristic nostalgia. Designed in collaboration with WET and Buro Happold, the studio created a minimal, modern structure that mimics the arches of the city’s existing bridges via a spectacle of water.

From a distance, viewers witness a magical phenomenon—a fantastic view of aqueous arches flowing above and then falling into the River Thames below. As pedestrians’ silhouettes peek through a misty veil, nozzles suspended from the underbelly of the bridge create sweeping arches of water along its expanse, re-interpreting the rigid forms of its neighboring bridges. While cyclists pedal through the bridge’s center, pedestrians stroll along the stepped sidewalks. Here, they experience the water performance from ‘backstage,’ where the flowing bend of the water extends just above their heads to create an extraordinary sensory experience.

The moment the water performance ends, the bridge transforms into a slender extrusion of high-strength concrete. Like a lady of typical Victorian dress that casts off her crinoline to expose her rigid corset, the close of the water theatrics reveals an engineering marvel: a stark, minimal structure poised above the water, stunning in its simplicity. Conceived as two broad arch piers that support a slender central span, the bridge allows for strikingly open views of the city.

Project NINE ELMS BRIDGE
Location LONDON, ENGLAND
Program  920 M BRIDGE
Status COMPETITION
Date 2015
   
Partners  
WET  
Buro Happold  


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