british designer paul cocksedge has announced his first ever project in south africa during design indaba 2020. called exploded view, the project consists of a permanent timber bridge across the liesbeek river in cape town, within the public open space of the upper liesbeek river garden. this is cocksedge’s second project exploring the use of wood and its environmental benefits following on from his please be seated installation at london design festival 2019.

paul cocksedge's exploded view bridge in cape town to use evasive eucalyptus tree wood



developed in collaboration with design indaba, building company XLAM south africa, and WSP, the exploded view bridged by paul cocksedge will be constructed from invasive eucalyptus tree wood, transforming its negative effects by using it as a building material. the species, which originates from australia, was brought to south africa in the 1800s and as it’s not native, it has in fact, negatively impacted the water table.

paul cocksedge's exploded view bridge in cape town to use evasive eucalyptus tree wood



cocksedge will work with XLAM south africa to transform the eucalyptus tree into cross laminated timber (CLT) which is a structural, prefabricated timber panel. the resulting material is a more sustainable alternative to concrete, masonry, and steel as it requires less water and less energy to manufacture. the timber is glued in longitudinal and transverse layers, creating a strong and stable structural material.

paul cocksedge's exploded view bridge in cape town to use evasive eucalyptus tree wood



for the exploded view bridge, paul cocksedge was inspired by the way planks of wood are stacked on top of one another, with the bridge looking like an ‘exploded’ view of one of these bundles. the timber appears to blend in and out of the landscape, creating movement despite its static nature. its construction generates timber lines that come together to create clusters of benches, perfect for users to take a rest and enjoy their surroundings.


‘it has been incredibly exciting working with the team at design indaba and with the design community in south africa, which has been the first for myself and my team,’ says cocksedge. ‘this bridge is a relatively simple visual gesture, but it addresses important issues around our environment, and how we can innovate with CLT to create new structures.’



project info:


name: exploded view bridge

designer: paul cocksedge

in collaboration with: design indaba, XLAM south africa, and WSP

location: cape town, south africa





design indaba
is a multifaceted platform committed to a better world through creativity. the south-african online publication hosts an annual festival and social impact do tank in cape town. the design indaba festival has been created by ravi naidoo in 1995, with focus on african and global creativity, through the lens of the work and ideas of leading thinkers and doers, opinion formers, trendsetters and industry experts.