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General Information

Name in local language: Inderhavnsbroen
Beginning of works: 5 October 2011
Completion: 16 August 2016
Status: in use

Project Type

Awards and Distinctions

2017 commendation  


Location: , ,
Coordinates: 55° 40' 42.48" N    12° 35' 41.53" E
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Technical Information


main span 70 m
width max. 18 m
total length 250 m
horizontal navigation clearance 45 m


deck of main span steel


January 2009

Københavns Kommune announces a limited competition involving three openable pedestrian/cyclist bridges, the main one being across the Copenhagen Inner Harbour (Inderhavnen). The bridges are to link the new Opera House and the east side of the port to Nyhavn and the main part of the city on the west side. At that stage the only link is provided by water taxis or via a rather convoluted and long route over existing bridges. The new pedestrian bridges are funded by the AP Møller and Chastine McKinney Møller Foundation, which also funded the new Copenhagen Opera House.

Based on their bridge design track record ten teams are invited from a pool of world-wide expressions of interest. These are:

  • Studio Bednarski/Flint & Neill/Hardesty Hanover/Speirs and Major, London
  • ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS Ltd, London + Buro Happold Ltd, London
  • Rambøll + 3XN ARCHITECTS
  • HENNING LARSEN ARCHITECTS + Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd., London + Speirs & Major Associates
  • LUNDGAARD & TRANBERG ARKITEKTER + Ove Arup & Partners, Denmark + Alectia
  • Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner, Beratende Ingenieure VBI, Stuttgart + GEORG K.S. ROTNE, ARKITEKT MAA, København + ES-Consult, Hørsholm
  • Grontmij | Carl Bro, Glostrup + Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, Berlin + VON GERKAN MARG UND PARTNER Architects and Engineers, Berlin
  • ISC Rådgivende Ingeniører + BYSTRUP ARKITEKTER MAA MDD

All teams are asked to offer designs for all three sites.

October 2009

The design by Studio Bednarski + Flint & Neill is selected as the winning entry for the Inderhavnen Bridge.

Some of the Jury comments are:

“In this entry, urban architecture aspects are rooted in the historical qualities of Copenhagen (…) Taking its starting point from the Nordic traditions, the entrant sought inspiration in the opportunity to optimise functionality and create a new public space rather than letting the bridge be an exponent of an extravagant staged structural form”

“The suggested incorporation of the bridges in the urban architecture is of very high quality.(…) The chain motive used in the overall plan keeps the movement together and creates attractive relationships between the bridges”

“In an exemplary manner, the entry takes its inspiration from the desire to subjugate the bridges to the movements of the city and the urban landscape and then giving the bridge over Inderhavnen a clear identity generated by its functionality”

“The bridge features a compelling overall concept and an attractive design that will help to form the identity of the site in the future”

“The telescopic design is extremely well thought out and a surprising proposal for a new bridge that will be a constant feature of the harbour space”

October 2011

Construction begins with E. Pihl & Søn A/S as contractor.

August 2013

The contractor's bankruptcy interrupts construction progress severely.

January 2014

Construction resumes with Vlamont SM A/S as principal contractor.

August 2015

Testing of the sliding mechanism begins.

19 August 2016

Formal inauguration of the bridge.


There is no other bridge quite like the Inner Harbour Bridge anywhere else in the world. The use of innovative sliding mechanism allows pedestrians to stand on viewing platforms at the edges of the navigation channel during the opening and closing operation. The gently and silently sliding sections of the elegant subtly understated sliding bridge appear as if floating in the air, as they move in and out of spaces between concrete decks. This new structure has become both a meeting place and vital traffic route, reducing commuting time for thousands of pedestrians and cyclists in the Danish capital. It is the key component of a scheme, which creates a crucial link between the two parts of Copenhagen separated by the port, which also involves further small bridges over canals. It constitutes a very effective tool of urban acupuncture unblocking the flows of urban energy to a route where it always wanted to flow. The bridge creates new urban spaces both at the quays and on the water. At the quays new landscaped spaces are framed by wide steps leading onto the bridge, where to sit and watch performers or the life go by.

The outer side faces of the steel spans are smooth conical surfaces, while the inner faces are complex warped surfaces. There the steel plate is formed from a series of triangular facets, producing flattering patterns when viewed from below. The width of the harbour was so much greater than the width of the navigation channel and this provided just enough room for the steel spans to pull back out of the way when ships pass by. The steel spans, weighing, were made by Vistal in Poland, delivered to Copenhagen by sea in August 2015 and installed by floating crane in just one night.


Structural design
Structural engineering
Steel construction
Mechanical engineering
Lighting design

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