Copenhagen has once again cemented its title as the best bicycle city in the world with the completion of the Lille Langebro cycle and pedestrian bridge. Spanning 160 meters across Copenhagen’s Inner Harbor, the opening bridge is the work of London-headquartered architecture practice WilkinsonEyre, which won the bid in a design competition hosted by Danish client Realdania By & Byg. In addition to revitalizing the once-deserted harbor area, the Lille Langebro bridge also pays homage to the neighborhood’s historical context with its elegantly curving shape that evokes the great arc of ramparts and moat of Christianshavn.

aerial view of bicycle bridge in Copenhagen

Designed solely for bicycle and pedestrian use, the Lille Langebro bridge is split into five spans with two 28-meter parts on either side of the 48-meter main section. Pedestrians are allotted a 3-meter-wide zone, while a 4-meter-wide zone is dedicated for cyclists. This zone is also divided into two lanes for two-way traffic. The bridge features a curved profile emphasized by the steel ribbon-like edges that rise like wings on either side.

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people biking on curving silver bridge
people walking on silver bridge in Copenhagen

To accommodate maritime traffic, the bridge is engineered to open and features a midspan higher than the quaysides. When closed, the flowing lines of the bridge are uninterrupted from end-to-end thanks to the hidden opening mechanisms created in collaboration with engineer BuroHappold.

close-up of curved silver bridge
people walking and riding bikes on a bridge

“We are delighted to have worked with Realdania to design a distinctive new bridge for the people of Copenhagen that will improve the urban spaces and promenades along the waterfront and strengthen the cycling culture in the city while also being safe and accessible to everyone,” said Simon Roberts, associate director at WilkinsonEyre.

bridge twisted open to let ships pass through
aerial view of curved bridge over water

The bridge, which connects to the new BLOX building that houses the Danish Architecture Center and other public spaces, is part of a continued effort to revitalize a part of the Copenhagen waterfront that had been deserted for decades.

+ WilkinsonEyre

Photography by Rasmus Hjortshøj via WilkinsonEyre