Legend has it King Arthur was conceived at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England. To connect visitors to the historic site and medieval ruins, English Heritage held a contest to design a new footbridge that echoes the mystical heritage of the site. They recently chose a design created by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates. The two firms unveiled a bridge rooted in the mystery of the site with two independent cantilevers.
Paying homage to the lore surrounding Tintagel Castle, Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates came up with a design symbolizing the myths. According to the project description from William Matthews Associates, “Our winning proposal is based on a simple concept: to recreate the link that once existed and filled the current void. Instead of introducing a third element that spans from side to side, we propose two independent cantilevers that reach out and touch, almost, in the middle.”
The significant space between the two cantilevers symbolizes the transition between past and present, according to William Matthews Associates, as well as between “reality and legend” and “the known and the unknown.”
According to Ney & Partners, the materials with which they aim to build the footbridge will be “simple, durable, and appropriate to the context of the site.” Steel, slate, and oak are among the materials they named for the Tintagel Castle Footbridge.
When English Heritage chose the two firms’ design, founder of William Matthews Associates William Matthews said in a statement, “Tintagel Castle attracts visitors for many reasons: the dramatic landscapes and geological formations, the Dark Age remains, the ruined 12th century castle and the legends of King Arthur and Tristan and Isolde. Together, they breath an undeniable and powerful sense of life into the place – to be invited to contribute to that is a rare privilege and honor.”
According to Ney & Partners, the bridge could be finished in 2019.