The world’s first fully glazed suspension bridge recently rose in Vienna, where it connects the Lugner City Shopping Center with the street below. The clear glass bridge was designed by architecture duo Bulant & Wailzer for the city's busy downtown area. The transparent structure becomes a visual treat at night, when it is illuminated with neon colors to emulate the traffic outside.
The Lugner Bridge rises from the Otto Wagner metro station and hovers above the avenue, connecting pedestrians to the shopping and sports complex above. The escalator from the street stretches to the bridge at an odd, trapezoidal angle, extending over traffic at the top. The space connecting the bridge to the escalator holds a small café that extends into the bridge, affording guests an interesting view through the floor to the street below.
The bridge itself seems to float, as it is suspended by two cables that are secured to adjacent buildings instead of traditional pillars. The geometric shape of the tunnel is reinforced with thin steel rods, creating a trapezoidal framework that skews the visitor’s perspective as they pass through the space. During the day, the double-glazed glass skin allows the bridge and café to be entirely lit by natural lighting. The glazing blocks solar gain, ensuring a comfortable temperature inside. At night, the bridge is illuminated with blue lights.
The glazed bridge, which connects pedestrians with the subway, is part of a Viennese program to revitalize the heavily trafficked area, while cutting car emissions by encouraging both pedestrian traffic and public transportation.