christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge

Christ & Gantenbein presents NEW BRIDGE in aarau, switzerland

 

Within the city of Aarau in Switzerland, Christ & Gantenbein has replaced a 1949 concrete bridge with the new Aare Bridge. Designed and constructed in collaboration with WMM Ingenieure AG, Henauer Gugler AG, and August + Margrith Künzel Landschaftsarchitekten AG, the new structure integrates organically into the cityscape and the natural environment while strengthening the local transportation network. With its distinctive, gently curved arches, the project creates an appealing urban space and becomes a new landmark for the region. 

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the new Aare Bridge in Switzerland | all images © Stefano Graziani, unless stated otherwise

 

 

new aare bridge ensures a visual dialogue with its surroundings

 

For centuries, a bridge has spanned the Aare river at this site, linking the historic city center over the Zollrain towards the north, to the Jura. Over time, various replacements were built, including the 1848 ‘Ketten-brücke’ and a concrete bridge in 1949. To find the ideal bridge successor, a competition was conducted, emphasizing the need for a structure that harmoniously integrates into the urban fabric. The winning design by Christ & Gantenbein (find more here) achieved this by seamlessly connecting with the city and creating an inviting public space at the entrance to the old town. Today, the bridge blends with the riverbank walls, forming a seamless connection with the flowing river.

 

The new bridge combines traditional and optimized concrete construction techniques. Taking inspiration from the sturdy stone buildings in Aarau, the medieval houses along the city wall, and the adjacent piers, retaining walls, ramps, and riverbank reinforcements, its light coloring ensures a visual dialogue with its surroundings. Furthermore, the bridge is a rational, modern reinforced concrete structure with an arch-like form that optimizes concrete usage through its specific geometry. The five arches of varying widths are partially supported by the two caissons of the previous bridge, repurposing existing resources. Additionally, the bridge boasts a monolithic supporting structure, where all components, including pillar foundations, pillars, arches, flanks, roadway, and parapets, work together as a unified and load-bearing system. This approach optimizes the structure’s performance and ensures its sustainability.

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the bridge incorporates a series of elegantly curved arches

 

 

Enhancing Connectivity and Public Spaces

 

Spanning 119 meters in length and 17.5 meters in width, the bridge incorporates two lanes, sidewalks on both sides, and dedicated bicycle tracks. At strategic points along the riverbank path, generous openings provide panoramic views of the surroundings, creating inviting public spaces for pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists enjoying the Aare river. The newly developed riverside areas establish connections between the bridge and the city, enhancing existing promenades while infusing them with fresh interpretations. On the old town side, a spacious urban promenade with a shaded square invites relaxation beneath leafy trees. On the northern riverbank, the bridge is adorned with lush green meadows and indigenous vegetation.

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the five arches of varying widths are partially supported by the two caissons of the previous bridge

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the new bridge combines traditional and optimized concrete construction techniques

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the new structrue creates inviting public spaces for pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists

christ-gantenbein-swiss-riverside-aare-bridge-designboom-full-01

the bridge blends with the riverbank walls, forming a seamless connection with the flowing river

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the distinctive curves echo the motions of the flowing river

christ & gantenbein complements swiss riverside with gently arched concrete bridge
the new Aare Bridge from afar

 

 

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new Aare Bridge site | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
new Aare Bridge site | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge underside | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge underside | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge elevation | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge elevation | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge elevation | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge elevation | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge section | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge section | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge section | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
bridge section | image courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein

project info: 

 

name: New Aare Bridge
architects: Christ & Gantenbein (Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein, Mona Farag; Tabea Lachenmann; Jean
Wagner)
general management: Ingenieurgemeinschaft Pont Neuf (WMM Ingenieure AG, Henauer Gugler AG)
landscape architecture: August + Margrith Künzel Landschaftsarchitekten AG
client: Kanton Aargau, Stadt Aarau

location: Aarau, Schweiz

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