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Bridge Connects Harbor, Points to Sea

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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Forget the quintessential statue marking a city’s harbor entrance. Danish designers have come up with an idea that’s more multimodal.

Copenhagen Gate features two mixed-use skyscrapers that sit across the harbor entrance from each other. But, as its architects note, it also connects the buildings with a bright orange and yellow cable stayed pedestrian bridge.

Images: Steven Holl Architects

Copenhagen Gate features two mixed-use skyscrapers that mark the city's harbor entrance and are connected by a bright orange and yellow cable stayed pedestrian bridge.

Steven Holl Architects won a competition to connect each side of the harbor, according to Gizmodo. The architects said history and geography each played a role in the design and its function.

Gateway Design

Gate Langelinie towner—or Gate L—is designed with geometry shaped like the site on which it will sit and named for its location. Gate Marmormolen tower—or Gate M—connects the structures on the city side.

Langelinie Pier was built alongside the harbor in 1894 to help load and unload ships coming into the city, according to VisitCopenhagen. Marmormolen, on the other hand, is a city-side wharf that is still under development but also has its roots in the 19th century, according to several websites.

Arrow to Sea

Critics appear to agree that the most spectacular part of the project is the cable stay bridge. The bridge makes an arrow that points out to sea as it jets across the harbor entrance, Gizmodo notes.

The architects say the two angles—an orange span coming from Gate L, and a yellow span starting from Gate M—join together “like a handshake over the harbor.

Architects say the bridge's two angles—an orange span coming from Gate L, and a yellow span starting from Gate M—join together “like a handshake over the harbor."

“The soffits below the bridges and under the cantilevers pick up the bright colors of the harbor; container orange on the undersides of the Langelinie, bright yellow on the undersides of the Marmormolen,” the architects wrote. “At night the uplights washing the colored aluminum reflect like paintings in the water.”

Gizmodo notes that the pedestrian walkway bridge—which will be 200 feet above the water and high enough to let ships sail through—really isn’t made for bicycles. But because bicycles are a Copenhagen staple, it’s possible to load a bike on an elevator; take it across the bridge; and load it in an elevator in the other tower. However, the online zine questions if doing so would be faster than simply biking around the buildings and crossing elsewhere.

The project is expected to be built in 2016.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Awards and honors; Bridges; Building design

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