Santiago Calatrava's iconic Peace Bridge, which crosses the Bow River in Calgary, has just been honored in the prestigious biennial National Steel Design Awards of Excellence. The award, which is given by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, describes the pedestrian and bike bridge as an "instant icon of the city" which "has vitalized the surrounding neighborhoods."
Calatrava’s striking helical design for the candy cane-colored Peace Bridge was completed in 2012, and it provided a remarkable solution to a number of challenging design criteria. Over the 126-meter span, there are no intermediary supports, which reduces the environmental impact of the structure. In addition, the covered bridge has a narrow 7-meter envelope, to allow for high water and ice levels below.
The bridge’s wide deck provides space for pedestrian walkways on both sides, with a bicycle pathway along the center, separated by curbs. Encapsulated by glass walls, the bridge provides year-round safe passage for commuters opting for more environmentally sound transport methods—at the time of the bridge’s inauguration it was expected that 1,500 cyclists and pedestrians would use it every day.
Describing the bridge as a “stunning structure” that has “become a favorite with photographers” the CISC praised the designer’s use of structural steel, and its high strength-to-weight ratio to accommodate the Peace Bridge’s “long span, wide bridge deck, and low structural depth.”
Photos via Shutterstock