Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge Over the Vistula River
Architecture: Anna Jach, Zuzanna Krzyzanska, Antek Keszycki
Structural Engineer: Schnetzer Puskas International AG, Basel
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Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge
with Zuzanna Krzyzanska & Antek Keszycki
Structural Engineer: Schnetzer Puskas International
Proposal for a 470 m long pedestrian and cyclist bridge joining two banks of the Vistula River in the center of Warsaw.
The bridge works as an urban mediator between two different worlds, a highly urbanized left bank with a wild, naturally overgrown right bank of the river Vistula, home to a variety of fauna and flora. It consists of the main branch, starting with a grand stair, continuing straight from the West and then winding gently towards the East, embracing the biotope on the west bank without interfering with it, and making it approachable for enjoyment and nature-watching.
Four ramps, two on the west bank and two on the east bank, work as connectors reaching out from the main axis of the bridge up and down along the river. They are connected with existing paths on the ground, which results in streamlined traffic patterns for bikers and pedestrians and enable insights into rich water fauna and flora, giving a possibility of watching the angler catching the fish. At the crossing point of the ramps with the main path, there are two stepped viewing platforms, offering a meeting and relaxing space with splendid views of the city skyline.
The bridge is essentially a slender metal band of weathering steel. The main structural elements are the side beams, consisting of a top- and bottom flange and a large sheet of perforated corten steel, varying in height, related to the span of the bridge.The side beams are held by cross-connecting steel beams with a walkway on top of them. The perforation openings are organized in a gradient, related to the bridge section spans - in the areas above the columns the openings are sparse while getting denser towards the middle of the section.
A linear system of lighting emphasizes the slender silhouette of the bridge, creating a reflection in the river during the night and marking the bottom edge of the bridge for the upcoming ships.
Illuminated corten steel appears golden, resulting in a warm shimmering, and the lighting effect of both stripes is combined through the openings in the balustrade, creating a constellation of lighting points amplified by the reflections in the water.