maximina almeida + telmo cruz overlap orange steel bridge above highway in lisbon

maximina almeida + telmo cruz overlap orange steel bridge above highway in lisbon

maximina almeida + telmo cruz overlap steel orange bridge above highway in lisbon
photography by joão morgardo




after winning a international competition, maximina almeida + telmo cruz of MXT studio have completed their dynamic pedestrian and cycling bridge in lisbon, portugal. stretching and overlapping over a busy highway, the erection of the bridge has brought an increase of bicycle use in the city due to its strategy to encourage more leisure activities associated with cycling. the first stage of design was initially implemented in the northern city plateau with an elevation of circa 100m which was occupied by newly built neighborhoods. more recently, the same was executed but along the waterfront with the approximated elevation of 5m. both locations had green spaces wide enough for safe cycle routes to be constructed away from traffic and cars.

a new network of paths literally taking off the ground is a partial memory of the old farm lanes




during the competition design phase, the bridge form was planned as a box girder structure, made with 8mm and 12mm thick steel plates supported by a set of pillars which included two under the central span. the resulting structure is described as a hybrid, where the initial plan for pillars under the central span were abolished to allow a bigger width for the box girders, thus increasing the size for the ramps and staircase access. this optimization uses less steel and enabled the budget to be maintained. visually, the design looks as though it has been dropped into its location, the distinctive form is colored in orange and clasps onto each side – the built environment and the greenery. simultaneously, a triangular-supported handrail runs the length of the bridge where at night is lit by LED lights.

the built solution is a hybrid structure, without pillars under the central span, resorting to box girders




‘in cities all moments of their evolution overlap and accumulate, multiplying into distinct maps, witnessing its history of continuities and discontinuities, desires and values, past, present and future. this bridge belongs to the maps of the future, inevitably optimistic, of other journeys and transport modes, soft, resulting from a new global ecological awareness.’–  maximina almeida + telmo cruz

the extension of segregated bike lanes in the city of lisbon has increased from 40 to 80km

staircase leading up to the elevated bridge level

the pedestrian path

the bridge elevates over a busy highway

an aim is to integrate and promote the use of bicycles as an alternative means of transport

both, the steel and concrete deck, are fully inscribed in an equilateral triangle with 3.30m sides

integrated into the guardrail top profile the lighting was carried out using LED technology



  • As a resident in the neighborhood where this bridge was built, as a daily bycicle user and as an urban planner, I must say some informations are not quite accurate. The access to the bridge is actually very hard, both for pedestrians and cyclists, and the bridge itself has little use, because it connects nothing. Here in Lisbon it has been very criticized as a “show-off investment”, a waste of public money, and as a mistake for the cycling-paths plan of the city. A very small number of people use this bridge, and it is definitely inaccurate to state that “the erection of the bridge has brought an increase of bicycle use in the city”.
    Kind regards,
    Filipe, from Lisbon

    Sep 10, 2015

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