Calatrava Reveals New Foot and Bike Bridge

by , 08/21/09

santiago calatrava, calgary peace bridge, pedestrian bridge design, bridge design, calatrava bridge design, city bicycling, livable streets, pedestrian friendly, transportation planning, city infrastructure

Santiago Calatrava‘s design for a new $24.5 million foot and bike bridge for the city of Calgary, Canada has just been unveiled. This new bridge, named the Peace Bridge, will span the Bow River and accommodate 5,000 bikers and walkers daily, allowing for swift foot-powered exit and entry into the city’s downtown. Anticipated for completion in 2010, the bridge meets the City of Calgary Council’s desire for the integration and implementation of more environmentally and health friendly transportation options for its citizens.


Likened aesthetically to a Chinese finger trap, the new 130-meter design is quite a departure from Calatrava’s signature asymmetrical designs which feature soaring masts against delicate steel cables. However, in true Calatrava form, the helical formation is no elementary exercise in engineering. The new bridge forgoes the use of any river bed grounded support legs, and instead its form moves, uninterrupted, from one edge of the Bow River to the other.

The bridge will provide separate paths for bikers and pedestrians and be completely covered in glass, allowing it to be used safely year round. A final bit of flair can be found in Calatrava’s choice of bold, contrasting colors: Canada’s national bright red and white.

The Peace Bridge embraces the direction many growing city’s should be on the path towards — a well connected, sustainable and healthy city on the move, encouraging citizens to choose walking and cycling over more sedentary modes of transport.

+ Calatrava

Via Arch Daily

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  1. Waisted Hours March 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    To pauly:

    Calgary does have another recent Starchitect building – the Bow by Foster + Partners

  2. Calatrava's Soaring Pav... November 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

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  3. pauly October 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I was all set to whinge about this bridge,but I think I’m going to love it.It”s bigger than I thought and a glorious bold red,yet painted white on the inside,interesting.I believe it”s calgary”s only structure by a well known architect,and I wouldn”t be at all surprised if it does become a tourist attraction.I”ve driven past twice to watch it”s construction and my mom and I are going to cycle down soon to get a good close look.Yea calgary…

  4. Santiago Calatrava Unve... June 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

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  5. Kaayla August 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I live in Calgary, and this bridge is very controversial. For one thing, in the space of 2 miles, there are at least 8 bridges that do the same thing…move pededstrians from one side of the river to the other.

    Then there is the fact that this contract for the bridge never went to a bid for city architectural firms…we have some of the finest architects anywhere. In there own City Hall rules, they must put all contracts to a bid…but apparently there are two sets of rules.

    Now for the price tag $24.5 million dollars in this recession, is absolutly ludicris. Seriously, they are laying people off at city hall, and they are spending the tax payers money like it is water….we are no immune to the recession here….oil and gas is not booming…people are losing jobs….Time for an election to get rid of these morons.

    I am all for going green, but I would never jeopardize peoples jobs, for a piece of art work, that is irresponsible.

  6. Kaayla August 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I live in Calgary, and this bridge is very controversial. For one thing, in the space of maybe 2 miles, there are at least 8 bridges that do the exact same thing, move pedestrians over the river from one side to the other.

    Then, there is the price tag, 24.5 million dollars, in this recession, is absolutely rediculious.

    Now, here is the kicker, city hall in there infinite wisdom, decided to just give it to the spanish architecture to design, and it never even went to a bid….which goes against all the the rules at city hall. Something very smelly there.

    I am all for going green, but this bridge is redundant, when there are so many bridges already there doing the same thing.

  7. russ August 21, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Only 24.5 million? Why I will take 3 or 4!

    I didn’t think Canadians were that foolish!

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