knight architects' bridge fans open over london's paddington basin
knight architects' bridge fans open over london's paddington basin
sep 30, 2014
knight architects' bridge fans open over london's paddington basin


knight architects’ bridge fans open over london’s paddington basin
photo © edmund sumner
all images courtesy of knight architects

 

 

 

in london’s merchant square, a mixed-use waterfront site at paddington basin, a movable footbridge designed by knight architects has opened to the public. working alongside structural engineers AKT II, the cantilevered design spans 20 meters across the grand union canal connecting the development. using hydraulic jacks, the bridge is envisioned as a kinetic sculpture that opens in a way similar to that of a traditional japanese fan.

knight architects merchant square bridge paddington basin london designboom
five fabricated steel beams form the deck of the structure
photo © edmund sumner

 

 

 

five fabricated steel beams form the deck of the structure, opening in a staggered sequence to achieve the required clearance height above the canal. shaped counterweights assist the bespoke mechanism and reduce the energy required to move the structure, with protected balustrades formed from twin rows of inclined steel rods. these handrails contain continuous LED downlighting that both illuminates the structure’s walking surface and presents a vibrant display of light.

knight architects merchant square bridge paddington basin london designboom
using hydraulic jacks, the bridge is envisioned as a kinetic sculpture
photo © peter cook

 

 

 

the bridge forms part of the area’s regeneration, a large-scale project that involves the construction of six buildings around a waterside plaza. richard banks, the CEO of european land, the developer behind the scheme, said: bridges are a crucial element of the built environment at merchant square and, therefore, it was important for the new footbridge crossing the grand union canal to enhance the public realm, not only practically but visually. knight architects have achieved this by introducing vertical movement to the design to create a bridge that is highly visible and dramatic.’

knight architects merchant square bridge paddington basin london designboom
the bridge opens in a way similar to that of a traditional japanese fan
photos © edmund sumner

knight architects merchant square bridge paddington basin london designboom
shaped counterweights assist the bespoke mechanism and reduce the energy required to move the structure
photo © edmund sumner

 

 


knight architects’ bridge over london’s paddington basin fans open
video direction and production by factory fifteen
original score by matt parker

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bridge architecture and design (113 articles)