The sculptural Claude Bernard overpass is an elegant, arched wooden structure that connects Parc du Millénaire to the Claude Bernard urban development zone in Paris. Architecture firm DVVD designed the structure in accordance with the city's climate action plan as an extension of a pedestrian square accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and people with reduced mobility.
The 100-meter (328 foot) wooden structure features broad-stepped stairways on the sides and landscaped ramps for easier access. Rest areas and panoramic viewpoints are placed at its middle, providing expansive views of the area.
As the curve of the walkway rises, the profile of the decking varies, creating a seamless transition from the streets. Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the overpass enhances visual and spatial proximity and functions as a natural extension of both sides of the Boulevard Périphérique.
In order to create a structure with a human scale in mind, the architects had to reduce its height, which they achieved by designing arches encased in a protective shell that serves as a safety barrier. This enhances the structural stability of the beams and reduces the weight of the entire structure. Timber cladding is placed over the metal framework, and patterns of double-sided timber fretwork provide visual connection between pedestrians and the drivers bellow. Taller planks are placed at the center with narrower spacing, creating a partially enclosed space that obstructs views of the traffic.
Lead photo by Luc Boegly