a 283-meter-long footbridge warps and curves above city traffic in spain

a 283-meter-long footbridge warps and curves above city traffic in spain


onda arquitectura + checa arquitectura complete onda atlántica footbridge in las palmas, gran canaria 




a sturdy urban sculpture that warps and curves effortlessly


the footbridge stretches over public spaces without any apparent tectonic effort. it showcases three dramatic, 63-meter spans without any intermediate supports, denoting an unexpected sense of lightness. moreover, its undulating shape that originally results from site constraints dodges the existing trees while improving structural performance — allowing a design with no expansion joints to take shape. ‘the programmatic requirements for pedestrian, cyclists and accessible crossing are resolved with a unique and simple infrastructure, avoiding any differentiated elements such as stairs and auxiliary elevators,’ states the architectural team. 


the V-shaped profile, meanwhile, came from a need to mitigate the acoustic impact from the highway underneath; it offers charming views to the city while providing natural light over the entire path. this distinct triangular form also turns the bridge into a two-dimensional volume at certain angles, creating the illusion of a curved sheet of paper. 

footbridge as large urban sculpture 2
the footbridge facing the port of las palmas | images © iwan baan, javier haddad



‘the result is a highly innovative structural system, an extremely efficient triangular profile shape not common in the world of bridges engineering, capable of spanning the required curved distances with a great performative agenda and a minimalistic aesthetic,’  reveal the architects. see more of onda arquitectura’s works here, and checa arquitectura’s here

footbridge as large urban sculpture 5
onda atlántica ends on the pier of the cruise boats



building a hyper-functional structure inspired by naval engineering designs 


with a width of 3 meters and a maximum slope of 6%, the floor level of onda atlántica reaches a maximum height of 7.60 meters above street level, turning into a new viewing point for city dwellers. it also allows a minimum gauge of 5.50 meters at the highway, exceeding up to 6 meters at specific points.


essentially, the architects developed a structural scheme inspired by naval engineering designs — giving every component of this footbridge a structural function, except for the handrails. with that said, they adopted a system of ribs or frames arranged every 3.2 meters while tied up by 10-12mm steel plates. the 18 pieces that made up the final structure, weighing up to 40 tons apiece, were assembled at a metallurgical shop in seville and then transported by ship to the site. the bridge was later coated in a three-layer paint with a metallic finish that helps it, depending on daylight, blend into the urban fabric and ensures protection against the highly corrosive maritime conditions.

footbridge as large urban sculpture 4
the crossings intersects at various levels to create a public square



finally, two public spaces have been redesigned to accommodate the footbridge landings. on one side, a fluid plaza receives all converging pedestrian traffic, designed with undulating green shapes that can be seen from above as a horizontal vegetal painting. on the other side, a non-walkable landscape reproduces a volcanic topography by reclaiming rocks from the neighboring isleta mountain.


footbridge as large urban sculpture 6
the structural scheme nods to naval engineering designs

footbridge as large urban sculpture 7
close up shot of the footbridge’s organic form

footbridge as large urban sculpture 8
with a maxmimum slope of 6%, the floor level reaches a maximum height of 7.60m above street level





project info:


name: onda atlántica footbridge
locationlas palmas de gran canaria, spain
footbridge length: 283 meters

architecture: onda arquitecturacheca arquitectura | @checarq
team: javier haddad, ramón checa, luis gonzález, carlos fuente

promoter: city council of las palmas de gran canaria

structural engineering: IngZero – ingeniería zero 

structural design consultant: feroher

metallurgical shop: megusa

footbridge budget: 3,054,000 euros
plaza budget: 876,307 euros
photography: iwan baan | @iwanbaan, javier haddad 




designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom


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