WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency’s new elegant Lille Langebro Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge won in the competition for Danish client Realdania By & Bygm, is now complete, enhancing Copenhagen’s waterfront and its reputation as the world’s best city for cycling and is now completed.
The new urban bridge won a recent 2020 International Architecture Award from The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
Now gifted to the municipality of Copenhagen, the bridge crosses the city harbor next to the new BLOX building which, among other things, is home to the Danish Architecture Center, cafes, a playground and new public spaces, all of which bring life to a part of Copenhagen Habour that has been deserted for decades.
It seamlessly connects the vista down Vester Voldgade from the City Hall to the harbor and onto Christianshavn on the Langebrogade quaysides.
Three key ideas characterize the concept and identity; firstly, the bridge follows an elegant curve in the plan which aligns with and evokes the great arc of ramparts and moat of Christianshavn, otherwise not apparent when viewed from the city.
Secondly, the structure is arranged as two wings on the sides of the bridge defining a very acute edge dividing light from the shade.
This edge dips below the decks at the abutments and soars up above the deck at midspan creating a further elegant line.
Thirdly, and unexpectedly, the gracefully curved profile of the bridge only becomes broken when the two swinging sections open for marine traffic.
At midspan, the structure is higher than at the quaysides to allow for the required 5.4m navigation clearance for boats.
Together with the curved alignment and raised “wings” this has the effect of a gradual reveal of what is ahead for those crossing.
Working in collaboration with engineer BuroHappold, WilkinsonEyre’s design for the opening mechanisms are discretely concealed in the piers and opening structure allowing the flowing line of the bridge to run uninterrupted from end-to-end.
Split into five spans, with two 28m parts on either side of the 48m main section, Lille Langebro has a minimum clear width of 7m, offering a generous 3m wide zone for pedestrians and a 4m wide zone which has been subdivided into two lanes for cyclists.
Project: Lille Langebro Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge
Landscape Architects: Urban Agency
Client: Realdania By & Byg
General Contractor: Joint Venture Mobilis Danmark – Hollandia Infra I/S
Structural Engineers: BuroHappold
Lighting Consultants: Speirs and Major
Photographers: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST