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.

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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