A bridge should be an exciting and eventful infrastructure, not just a crossing. We believe it should relate to its geographical and historical context. The structural and architectural design of the Woven Bridge draws inspiration from Salford’s illustrious and proud heritage, deeply rooted into the textile industry. The Bridge expresses a unique visual language inspired by looms, threads and delicate woven geometries. An infrastructure-landmark crossing bridging the past and the future. The Woven Bridge is a public, visible manifestation of historical values three-dimensionally translated in a lightweight, refined and contemporary structure.
The Bridge aims to be recognized as a crossing from further afield. In order to achieve this we opted for a tall structure whilst adopting a structural language that can be easily identified with a bridge, even if the structure is not entirely visible. We are also aware that such a bridge should blend harmonically with its surrounding context; this is why we chose a cable-stayed structure. This approach enables the bridge to be highly visible and recognizable whilst retaining a degree of visual transparency.
The structural design has been developed with Chris Neighbour from Arup, London. We focused our design efforts in three specific directions: deliver a bridge that can withstand vibrations and lateral loads generated by pedestrian, deliver a bridge that can be efficiently assembled on site, despite the site’s topographical constraints, and deliver a vandal-proof structure, by using highly durable materials and by offsetting the main structural cables well outside the deck.
The Woven Bridge aims to be iconic not just through its visual identity but iconic in the way local residents and visitors will successfully interact with the structure itself. A series of triangular platforms cantilever from the main deck, allowing users to stop in a traffic-free portion of the deck from which to enjoy the views over the river, without obstructing the pedestrian flow over the main deck. We strategically placed these triangular extensions in between the main structural cables, in order to offer unobstructed views.
Client: Salford City Council
Status: proposal submitted, RIBA Competition
Budget: £1.9 million
Structural consultants: ARUP