^ The Design of the Merchant Square Footbridge, London | Structurae
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Medium: Tagungsbeitrag
Sprache(n): Englisch
Tagung: Footbridge 2014 - Past, Present & Future, London, 16-18 July 2014
Veröffentlicht in:
Jahr: 2014

The Merchant Square Footbridge is a pedestrian crossing of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal at the heart of the new Merchant Square development at Paddington Basin, London. The bridge is required to open in order to maintain access to the waterway and this is the inspiration for a subtle yet deliberately landmark design whose unusual opening system is based on a proven hinged bascule mechanism.

The concept is both simple and spectacular: a 3m wide cantilevering deck is hinged at its north end and is raised using hydraulic jacks with an action similar to that of a traditional Japanese hand fan. The fabricated steel beam forming the deck is split into five discrete ‘fingers’ with offset bearings that open in sequence, with the first rising to an angle of 67 degrees and the last achieving the required clearance over the canal of 2.5m tall by 5.5m wide at mid channel.

Shaped counterweights assist the hydraulic mechanism to reduce the energy required to raise the structure and they also provide an understated hint to the movable function of the bridge that is not apparent when the bridge is lowered. In motion it will be an eye-catching kinetic sculpture whose memorable silhouette is unique and which is well suited to the position on Sunset Terrace next to the canal.


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