Knight Architects Merchant Square Footbridge, London

Ken Schluchtmann,




Knight Architects’ Merchant Square Footbridge is also an urban sculpture, because architecture is not just tower blocks, and not just buildings either!

Knight Architects Merchant Square Footbridge, London

Everyone knows that architecture is not just about tower blocks, even that it is about more than just buildings: even little infrastructure projects can become tourist attractions in their own right. One such example is the little constructions built under Norway’s National Tourist Routes programme, which we have seen in Ken Schluchtmann’s photographs in the exhibition entitled Norway at SpazioFMGperl'Architettura, projects of great importance for boosting tourism in Norway.

Merchant Square Bridge, or The Fan Bridge, is a footbridge designed by Knight Architects which definitely falls into this category. In the spring it won an award in the Urban Design & Public Spaces section of the ArchMarathon Awards 2016. The British studio specialising in bridge construction was appointed in 2012 to design a mobile pedestrian bridge to cross Paddington Basin, part of the Grand Union Canal grid in London. A series of hydraulic jacks moves five steel beams like the parts of a Japanese fan to span the 20 metre wide canal with a three metre wide footbridge.
The outermost beams are completed with led lights set into the pavement at their ends and railings on the bridge, formed of interwoven steel elements and a handrail. A robust yet transparent and "lightweight" system with lighting that defines its boundaries and makes it attractive even at night.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Design: Knight Architects
Location: Paddington, London, UK

Images courtesy of ArchMarathon photo by Knight Architects, Edmund Sumner, Peter Cook



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