herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade

‘570 bridge porto’ by herzog & de meuron 

 

Cutting through and mirroring the urban landscape like an abstracted blade, the 570 Bridge Porto proposal by Herzog & de Meuron is envisioned as a new landmark for the Portuguese city. The sculptural volume is born out of a 2021 competition entry and claims its place between the Arrábida and Dom Luís bridges, connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia by crossing the Douro River. Beyond serving as a connecting and viewing platform, the proposed bridge also endows the city with a new and flexible social program rich in communal and leisurely activities. 

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade
all renderings © Bruno de Almeida Martins / Herzog & de Meuron

 

 

Supported by black beams, 570 Bridge Porto emerges as a concrete volume wrapped in a reflective surface to increase its durability while emphasizing its perceived ‘sharpness’. Elaborating on the choice of design and material, the Herzog & de Meuron team writes: ‘It reflects the sky, the water, and the blurred urban surroundings. Its appearance changes depending on weather and time of the day. […] It expresses a new city, new dynamics, and the changing way people use public space and move from one place to another.

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade
blade-like volume, mirroring Porto’s urban landscape

 

 

a multipurpose and highly-connective platform 

 

Program-wise, the 570 Bridge Porto accommodates a new urban plaza along the riverfront, where the main piers sit in place of a current gas station. While carrying the bridge, those piers also hold a thin roof, creating an intimate space below, an urban square that can serve as a marketplace for small concerts or as a shared outdoor space for cafés and bars.

 

The pocket plaza is adorned with lush vertical green walls covering the adjacent buildings, complemented by several freestanding trees punctuating the granite cobblestone. Furthermore, a thin reflective canopy, suspended from the bridge piers, occupies the plaza’s center, mirroring the green enclosure and Douro waters while providing shading at the tram stop. When night falls, the roof reflects all light sources, creating a captivating show for passersby.

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade
the reflective 570 Bridge Porto undulates and crosses over like a sharp blade

 

 

On Porto’s side, a generous stair connects up to the new Terraço Panorâmico, where a scenic view unfolds towards the historical center in the East and the ocean in the West. This platform could accommodate a Multipurpose Hall for public exhibitions and presentations of projects of the Architectural Faculty. Furthermore, the stair linking up to this terrace widens generously at its lower end towards the entrance of the Architectural Faculty, allowing for outdoor lectures, open-air cinema screenings, or just offering a generous sitting area.

570-birdge-porto-designboom-full-1

Meanwhile, on the Vila Nova de Gaia side, the bridge offers a new, prominent pedestrian link between the Arrábida Shopping Mall and the riverfront. Right above the shoreline, close to the bridge’s arrival at the future Arrábida metro station, a staircase descends into the emblematic eucalyptus forest that covers the steep slope, wrapping around the secondary piers and widening up with a perfect view towards the historic Porto center, offering a new place for small gatherings.

 

After reaching the ground, the pathway transitions to an undulating walkway between urban gardens, leading to the riverfront. The proposed stairs allow for a new pedestrian loop along the Douro River, to Dom Luís bridge and back, ‘a new opportunity for runners or simply a pleasant Sunday walk,’ adds Herzog & de Meuron

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade
a staircase connecting the riverfront to the Arrábida shopping mall

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade
a new multipurpose social platform

herzog & de meuron's reflective bridge proposal cuts through porto like a sharp blade
night time view of the proposed bridge design

570-birdge-porto-designboom-full-4

 

 

project info:

 

name: 570 Bridge Porto
location: Porto, Portugal

area: 6,150 sqm
client: Metro de Porto
architecture: Herzog & de Meuron | @herzogdemeuron
partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Wim Walschap, Martin Knüsel (partner in charge)
project team: Ilia Stefanov Tsachev (associate, project manager), Bruno de Almeida Martins (visualizations),
João Conceição, Luca Redaelli
executive architect: Adriano Pimenta Arquitetos | @ap_architects_
general planning: STRENG Engenharia de Estruturas Lda
structural engineering: Carlos Fernandez Casado S.L

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