A new bridge for Bath Quays - selected designer announced
The winning design for the new pedestrian and cycle bridge is called ‘Between History and Modernity’ and was submitted by Paris-based engineering and architectural consultancy Marc Mimram, who led a team including UK-based engineering practice Webb Yates.
The new Bath Quays Bridge will link the river from Green Park Road on the north side to the Newark Works buildings on the south. It will create an attractive physical link between the new business developments planned in those two locations.
A panel made up of respected figures from the fields of bridge engineering and architecture, along with Council representatives, judged the designs. Feedback received during the exhibition of the designs also showed Marc Mimram’s team’s design to be the public’s favourite.
The six designs were unveiled as part of an international design competition run by Bath & North East Somerset Council. The competition began in February 2015 when it was advertised internationally to ensure a wide and expert field of applicants.
50 architecture and engineering practices from the UK and beyond applied to be considered and these were reduced to a shortlist of the six teams who submitted the above designs. .
Judges were impressed with the sensitivity of the design and particularly inspired by the bridge’s curving design and the unusual and elegant curvature and undulations of the deck, which they think give it a
playfulness that will make for a really positive public experience. Feedback received during the exhibition of the designs also showed the Paris-based team’s design to be the public’s favourite.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Warren, said: “The new bridge is an essential component of the Council’s plans to create a new business district, Bath Quays, in the city’s riverside quarter. A development of the scale of Bath Quays is a fantastic opportunity for Bath to reinvent a somewhat overlooked corner and connect it with the vibrant and beautiful historic city.”
Marc Mimram, Founding Director of Marc Mimram Architects and Engineers, said: “I have built bridges all over the world but it has long been my ambition to build in the UK and I’m excited to be doing so in Bath. The city’s history and relationship with the River Avon has captivated me since my first visit and it was this that inspired our design for the bridge.
“Bridges have the capacity to transform cities, to build not just physical ties between locations, but symbolic bonds within communities. While being firmly rooted in Bath’s history and landscape this bridge connects Bath’s two new business districts and allows the city to look forwards towards future growth and transformation.”
You can find out more about Marc's inspiration for the bridge in a Q and A published by RIBA.
The full list of submitted designs included AL_A’s ‘Celeste’ in second place, followed by Flint & Neill’s ‘The Kink’, Grimshaw’s ‘Bath Segmental Bridge’, Heneghan Peng’s ‘I Bow’ and Price & Myers’ ‘Zig-Zag Bridge’.
Bath Quays is comprised of two riverside development sites on either side of the river in the city centre. The developments will offer the much needed high quality office for the city’s flourishing tech and digital businesses. Linked by the new Bath Quays Bridge the developments will offer an attractive and prestigious riverside location for growing companies.
The Council intends to submit a planning application for the new bridge during 2016 with a view to construction taking place during 2017.