santiago calatrava: peace bridge in calgary, canada
santiago calatrava: peace bridge in calgary, canada santiago calatrava: peace bridge in calgary, canada
apr 03, 2012

santiago calatrava: peace bridge in calgary, canada

‘peace bridge’ by santiago calatrava, calgary, canada image © ian harding photography all photographs courtesy of ian harding photography all renderings courtesy of santiago calatrava




the city of calgary in canada has welcomed its newest addition spanning the bow river, the peace bridge by valencian architect and engineer santiago calatrava. the single span helical footbridge gently arcs across the water, sheltering users with a glass roof along its 126 meter length. adjacent to the prince’s island park in the downtown district, the structure will provide pedestrians and cyclists with connecting routes between the urban center and memorial drive. pathways defined with curbs separate modes of movement, allowing bicycles to maneuver safely within a central bike lane and foot traffic travels along the elevated sidewalks placed on either side.



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom calgarians using their bridge for the first time image © ian harding photography




in calatrava‘s design, the rounded cross section of the cover and platform is generated mathematically with two clearly defined tangential radii to create an internal and experiential space. formed by the criss-crossing of the steel exterior leaves openings which have been selectively screened with a fritted glazed panel to protect form rain and snow. pigmented a vibrant red, the framework generates a landmark presence for the area, accenting the trees and grass-covered landscape, especially during autumnal foliage. linear lighting is integrated into the structure and handrail, producing a downward way-finding illumination. its delicate presence is reflected within the water below.



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom separated pedestrian and bicycle paths image © ian harding photography



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom aerial rendered view image © santiago calatrava



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom side view of the bridge with the downtown beyond image © santiago calatrava



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom accented by the autumnal foliage image © santiago calatrava



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom bridge deck image © santiago calatrava



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom bridge deck at night image © santiago calatrava



peace bridge santiago calatrava canada designboom illuminated at night image © santiago calatrava



project info:



length of bridge: 126 m total width: 8 m total height: 5.85 m width bet. handrails: 6.2 m (3.7m pedestrian zone, 2.5m cycle way)


    not says:
  • I love the photo with the caption “separated pedestrian and bicycle paths” not so much, lol

    Dani says:
  • @Dani – Haha! Yeah, the day of the grand opening meant that the bridge was flooded with people, resulting in a photo of people walking on the cycling path.

    Ian Harding says:
  • A shame they didn’t keep Senor Calatrava’s white colour scheme for the inside of his Chinese Finger Trap.

    FUA says:
  • Single Span!

    gamehousehk says:
  • 126m/5.85m = 21. It\’s too much slender!!!!!. What happen with de deformations????

    dq says:
  • Fascinating idea!! Imagination has no limit………………………………….!!!!!!

    Anirban Das says:
  • the name do not follow the design… but anyways, a bridge joints 2 lands and people.
    good colour and design

    Jose Urribari says:
  • This is soooooooooooooooooo cool !!!

    WOW says:
  • Did they paint the inside white later on? On the first pictures it’s all red…

    ph says:
  • @ph: pics 4-9 are cgi

    MaWa says:
  • This wonderful bridge looks like a giant arterial stent across the “artery” that is the Bow River. Let’s wait for some images in January/February when it is -45C and the wind is blowing down the Bow.

    Philip says:
  • Form and function. The art of knowing how to put together the two. KUDOS !!!!

    Paedra says:
  • This bridge generated a lot of controversy in Calgary due to its perception as an extravagance since another pedestrian bridge exists not more than a couple of hundred yards away. Calgary is making great strides in cycling infrastructure and the bridge does offer excellent two way cycling and pedestrian traffic lanes. It is however, the bridge to no-where. The bridge spans the Bow River from Princess Island Park to the middle of Memorial Drive where one is confronted by a four lane road and no means to cross. The nearest crossing is still past the other aforementioned pedestrian bridge.
    The detailing is mediocre at best with the welded joints not well done and deformations in the steel as evidenced in the photos above… That said, it is the most progressive piece of urban engineering to hit Calgary apart from Mr. Foster’s Bow on the other end of downtown. My jury’s out on how well this ‘finger puzzle” of a bridge will age…

    arc* says:
  • Pennsylvania University pedestrian and cyclist bridge by Cecil Balmond’s AGU, London was conceived and executed in the same manner some 4/5 years ago. Based on the Finger Trap as a concept, they acually invented the structural solution employed – the double Helix as a structural weave of steel girders. Kudos due to AGU if anyone….

    JP says:

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