mobile domed bridge splits in half to form both separate and shared spaces
all images © volker hartmann/urbane künste ruhr




at duisburg-ruhrort — a former rail harbor connecting the rhine, ruhr and rhine-herne — five artists have installed ‘nomanslanding’ for the annual ruhrtriennale festival. robyn backen, andre dekker, graham eatough, nigel helyer and jennifer turpin have conceived a mobile bridge that extends and retracts a pair of identical floating walkways towards and away from each other. as visitors approach from opposite shores, they arrive at a domed structure in the middle of the bay, which is surrounded by a square perimeter of wooden panels.

the ‘nomanslanding’ is sited at the duisburg-ruhrort, a former rail harbor




the hemispherical structure is split in two, offering a 10 meter divide of water when the gap between platforms is extended. when the two halves of the dome move together, the gap between them diminishes, and visitors from opposing sides are united in a chapel-like, shared space for contemplation. once both sections have closed completely, a sound collage can be heard inside the gradually darkening space, which culminates in a contribution sung live by one of the performers.


‘this walk-on installation is is an attempt to bridge the divide separating us from strangers and to facilitate a meeting on common ground’, the artists describe. ‘a space is created with a unique atmosphere in which people may reflect with each other on history, memories and experiences.’

a domed structure sits at the middle of the bay

visitors walk towards the center of the bay where two halves of the dome are split in two

the gap provides two distinct spaces for visitors to experience

the halved dome allows views out towards the surrounding landscape

once closed, the space becomes a site of reflection and contemplation

once both sections have closed completely, a sound collage can be heard inside the space