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Design Revealed for Wales Footbridge

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Swansea, Wales-based artist Marc Rees, in collaboration with architecture firm ACME, revealed design plans for a new footbridge in the city earlier this month.

Principal contractor Buckingham Group Contracting (Stowe, United Kingdom) also aided in developing the bridge’s structural design, while RivingtonHark (London) serves as the project’s development manager.

About the Bridge

Expected to carry hundreds of thousands of pedestrians and cyclists, the new Swansea footbridge is expected to measure up to 12 meters wide (almost 40 feet) and will replace an existing bridge over Oystermouth Road.

Once constructed, the bridge will stand 6 meters above the roadway and be 49 meters long, connecting the city’s developing $175 million center regeneration.

According to reports, Swansea Council is working on what it calls Swansea Central Phase One, which involves the construction of a 3,500-capacity indoor arena, new parkland, almost 1,000 new car parking spaces, commercial units and more than 30 homes.

"It's fun, outward-looking and forward-thinking,” said council leader Rob Stewart.

The commercial project is being funded by a $1.7 billion Swansea Bay City Deal (for the arena), however, the Welsh government's Active Travel Fund is being used for the bridge.

Linking the two halves, the Swansea Bridge design is described as a gold-colored interpretation of a swan figure and intends to have interior LED lighting, which will change color once installed. According to Friedrich Ludewig, Director at ACME, the color and lighting acknowledge Swansea’s copper industry and will be complementary to the arena’s digital façade.

"The council wanted the design to reflect an authentic local voice and I hope I bring that along with a compelling artistic edge,” said artist Marc Rees, who was commissioned for the bridge’s design.

“Working on the design with Acme has been exciting. I settled on an origami-style pattern because I wanted the bridge to have a playfulness reflecting its proximity to the arena and park. I chose swans because they represent forward movement and change; they also, of course, have a strong Swansea association.”

Buckingham Group Contracting Project Director Tim Wood adds, “We have been working closely with Marc Rees and Acme to develop the detailed construction and structural designs for the bridge. Our aim is to ensure that the finished bridge delivers the architectural, aesthetic qualities that are required and that it creates a stunning visual gateway to Swansea.”

Over the weekend (Feb. 23), crews began work on removing the existing 40-year-old footbridge currently over Oystermouth Road. Yesterday, diversions were put in place while cranes were scheduled to remove the structure, slated to have taken place throughout the afternoon.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Bridges; Design; Design build; Developers; EU; Europe; Infrastructure; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Upcoming projects

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (2/25/2020, 9:39 AM)

Those angled walls look like they effectively narrow the usable walking area. Hopefully enough will remain for the volume of demand.

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