'the O' - proposal for a pedestrian bridge in Salford, Manchester
by Alexander Daxböck and Chris Precht
Changing its appearance depending on the angle of approach, this proposal for the meadows salford bridge competition by designers Alexander Daxböck and Chris Precht of penda features a strong elliptical shape. the project offers a dominant visual landmark that when viewed from its side looks like a regular suspended bridge, but as one gets closer the structure opens up to a rounded volume, engulfing pedestrians as they cross over to the meadows. the multifaceted object is in contrast to its surrounding harmonious green spaces.
The crossing is presented as a disco-like object when viewed from the south and north, whereas from the western and eastern sides it looks slim and elegant, almost two-dimensional. constructed using a truss system that supports a wooden pathway with glazed semi-transparent handrails with both of its endings generously widened, inviting pedestrians on its platform. the walkway merges onto a terraced landscape, which can be used for lounging and as an open air theater. the main structural element is made using a welded steel tube that rests on two concrete bearings, supporting and carrying the weight at the same time. during the day the suspension cables reflect the sunlight, while the sun’s energy is stored in energy saving LED’s, allowing the bridge to glow during the night making it a 24/7 landmark for the Salford Meadows.
Approaching from the main street, the bridge looks like a common swing bridge suspended from a pylon. Getting closer the bridge is opening up and the ellipse turns into a full circle and invites the visitors to the Meadow.