The glassy Ribja Brv Footbridge appears to float across the Ljubljanica river, connecting two sides of the Slovenian capital. Designed by Arhitektura d.o.o., the bridge gives pedestrians access to two of the city’s major squares on either side of the river. The minimalist bridge connects the city without intervening with its rich historical architecture.
Arhitektura d.o.o. designed the Ribja Brv Footbridge for an international design competition to replace a decaying timber bridge built in 1991. The bridge was first conceived by the late architect Joze Plečnik, whose Vienna Secession style gave Ljubljana its architectural character. The original bridge, built by architecture students, was meant to be temporary, so it eventually needed to be replaced.
Arhitektura d.o.o.’s bridge somewhat resembles a flying carpet – the minimalist design features no visible supports, and it respects the architectural ornamentation of the surrounding area. The bridge’s floor is made of thin steel, which reflects light, while the guard walls are made of glass in order to not disturb views of the city. The architects sought to make the bridge as thing as possible so that views from one side of the embankment to the other would remain intact.
The 25-meter-long bridge was constructed in just four months. Triple-layered glass reinforces the handrails, which conceal LED lights that illuminate the bridge at night. The subtle bridge serves the needs of pedestrians while also preserving Plečnik’s legacy.