Crossing Hamburg’s Historic Schleusengraben with a Swing – Landscape as the Governing Factor


Medium: conference paper
Language(s): en 
Conference: Footbridge 2017 Berlin - Tell A Story, 6-8.9.2017, Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)
Published in:
DOI: 10.24904/footbridge2017.09645
Abstract: A former industrial area in Hamburg’s disctrict of Bergedorf - cut in two parts by the historic Schleusengraben, a channel dating from the 15th century - is transformed into an urban district. In 2014 the city opened a competition for a new pedestrian bridge crossing the Schleusengraben.

Key to the task was an integrated design concept covering the functional requirements in a wider area including both waterside promenades as well as the connecting footbridge thus forming an urbanized area. It was decided to form a joint team of bridge engineers and landscape architects. Rather than concentrating on the bridge itself the design started with the analysis of pedestrian flows, directions and meeting areas resulting in a ‘natural’ organic layout of walkways. The bridge design then had to react on the boundary conditions stipulated by the landscape design.

The creative partnership resulted in a swinging pathway concept with an embedded Y-shaped bridge. Landscape and bridge merge into a vibrant unit. The bridge itself consists of a frame structure with a single central frame leg. Superstructure depth and width are decreasing from the central leg towards the abutments giving the structure a dynamic impression and reflecting the swinging paths. However, the sculpture like structure is a landmark on its own.

The aesthetically and economically viable design convinced the jury and resulted in the first price in the competition. Unfortunately the initial award winning design concept was put on hold driven by budget limitations. The city now prefers the realization of a radically changed, more conventional design concept.

Keywords: steel bridge, competition, frame structure, landscape design, interdisciplinary design approach

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