Most pedestrian bridges tend to go unnoticed as necessary urban eye sores built over heavily-trafficked highways or roundabouts, but Metaform Architects' modern foot bridge in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg has changed the way pedestrian bridges are integrated into the urban fabric. Designed to guide local pedestrians from a busy intersection to the elevated Galgenberg Park, the structure offers a welcome respite from the chaotic urban routes found under its shadow.
Since its completion in 2009, the 345-foot bridge has become one of the city’s most important urban design projects, especially considering that there were few easily accessible entrances to the beautiful Galgenberg Park before its construction. According to the architects, the uncluttered, minimalist design and the homogeneous steel skin emits a peaceful atmosphere that contrasts the overall unpleasantness of the dizzying roundabout below.
“The access to another world would remain unknown, if curiosity didn’t push us to take the stairs or use the elevator to get to the top. Reflecting its environment, it likes to change its appearance according to its moods. During daytime, when the weather is fine, it shows itself in a sky-grey dress, whose rounded edges contrast furiously with the darkness of the woods beyond. When the weather is more capricious, it withdraws in order to merge with the color of the sky, and can even disappear during a thick fog. At night, it is more discreet, as it allows itself to be illuminated by the city lights and the passing cars and trains.”
The beautiful design has been the recipient of many architectural and design awards. It came in first place in the International Design & Build competition in 2007 and was honored with both the Civil Engineering Building of the Year in 2010 and the Steel Construction Award in 2011, as well as Archdaily’s 2010 Building of the Year Award in the Public Facility Category.
Photos by Steve Troes Fotodesign, Fabrizio Maltese photography