foster + partners has been selected to build two new bridges in the english town of ipswich, the home of norman foster’s acclaimed ‘willis faber building’. the design, which saw the firm hold off competition from four other international teams, also includes refurbishing an existing lock in order to enhance the site’s broader connectivity. the central urban quarter will be revitalized with the introduction of new public spaces and routes along the river orwell.
all images © foster + partners
the two new river crossings have been designed by foster + partners as part of a scheme that will accommodate vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. in particular, the main crossing will split vehicles and cycles/pedestrians to create a shared public realm. the initial design concept, shown here, will now be developed over the coming months in consultation with local businesses and residents.
the project includes refurbishing an existing lock in order to enhance the site’s broader connectivity
‘the willis faber building was a landmark project for the practice, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the town once more,’ said spencer de grey, head of design at foster + partners. ‘the design of the bridges focuses on enhancing the experience of crossing the orwell river, increasing interconnectivity and reducing congestion in the town center. the project also offers the opportunity to consider the design of the bridges in a wider urban context, creating new promenades and public spaces between the riverfront, inner harbor and island.’
the main crossing will split vehicles and cycles/pedestrians to create a shared public realm
‘the approaches were considered to have the potential to provide a very appropriate response to the waterfront context and townscape, as well as acting as a catalyst for regeneration of the wider harbor area,’ commented RIBA’s competition jury, who managed the competition on behalf of the suffolk county council. foster + partners was selected from a shortlist of five international teams that included: adamson associates with william matthews associates and ney & partners; knight architects; marc mimram; and wilkinson eyre with FHECOR and EADON consulting.
the central urban quarter will be further revitalized with the introduction of new public spaces
the initial design concept will now be developed over the coming months