Copenhagen Harbour Bridges


The series of bridges, one across the harbour and three in the Christianshavn area, are supposed to connect the city center to areas of more recent development. The design is conscious of the delicate setting and proposes a main bridge which does not dominate the harbour: from a distance it is a deliberate understated structure, while up close it shows its great expressiveness.

The bridge over the inner harbour is conceived as a ribbon that floats gracefully over water. This is achieved by providing a girder with an organic yet specific form in which the section shape reflects the variations in static forces along the bridge length. The bridge lower structure is composed by inclined legs standing on concrete cushions. The legs are flushed with the outer face of the deck and they are also made in painted steel.

The optimal bridge type over the inner harbor is a double-leaf bascular bridge. This type offers several advantages over the alternatives: besides quick opening and closing times, it allows to store the bridge engineering installations under the transferor. In addition, it does not require the presence of additional poles or pylons, leaving the overall harbor landscape unaltered. Nothing reveals the bridge’s movement until it actually starts its movement.

Bicycle and pedestrian paths are curved in plan due to the curved route from Nyhavn to the Nordatlantik Brygge (North Atlantic Wharf). This provides an element of surprise when the bridge flaps are up and standing skewed relative to each other. This vision is very pronounced when walking along the bridge, as the flaps form a V-profile towards the sky. The bridge thus becomes a dynamic sculpture on a large scale.

Developed as part of a team while working at Dissing+Weitling Architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark.


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