Network Rail

  • Client RIBA Internation Competition: Network Rail
  • Year 2018
  • Location UK
  • Team Mike Waddington, Sam Warner, Tom Perchard, Urszula Kochanowska, Eunice Flageul

RIBA International Competition. The Footbridge Design Ideas Competition sought new ideas to re-affirm Network Rail's commitment to good design across the nation, and the delivery of excellent ordinary. Our concept references the aspiration for ordinary excellence and proposes an understated solution which is engineering-inspired, echoing the industrial heritage of Britain's railways, but also poetic and subtle.... celebrating 'beauty in everyday-life'. Our bridge responds to how much time its users have - faster, glimpsed views if hurrying, or slower more contemplative ones if sitting down. The steel frames modulate changing light, shadows and rhythms. Varying height twists in frames and undulating internal glass layers evoke an abstracted, picturesque landscape. The structural frame comprises two lightweight Vierendeel trusses spanning across the tracks, connected by structural twisted plates creating picture frames that resist lateral racking. Wind load is taken from the facade, via the picture frames, and transfers load into the diaphragm action of the floor carrying the loading into the braced frame enclosing the lift and stair units. Low maintenance, extensive green roof, ivy curtain wall, bat-boxes and innovative active air purification advertising units; enhance biodiversity, reduce rainwater run-off, provide shading and evaporative cooling and can be tailored to reflect the local eco-system. Rainwater is recycled for irrigation of the ivy wall and photovoltaic panels may be installed to provide power for low energy lighting and irrigation pumps. The Cor-ten structure is manufactured from 100% pre-and post-consumer steel and is recyclable. Opportunities for integrating public art include the curious diffraction patterns from the twisted frames that could make each bridge unique. The concrete floor is a blank canvas and there are possibilities for creative lighting, music, sound or even elements of free-standing sculpture.