The Merchant Square Footbridge in London is one of the most recent pedestrian bridges built in the city (as the name says, in the center of Merchant Square) whose opening was a few months ago. The design was created by the firm Knight Architects in collaboration with the engineering firm AKT II, who won the contest which was released in 2o12. With regard to the characteristics of the bridge, is 3 meters wide by 20 meters long, and crosses the Grand Union Canal.
Beyond being a tool that helps citizens of the area to cross the canal, the bridge is also an element of contemplation, since the time the bridge is raised, it becomes a sculptural piece of kinetic character, which in time becomes an identity area. The platform is constructed with five steel beams forming the cover. The elevation of the Merchant Square Footbridge is performed by hydraulic jacks with a similar function of a fan. The main piece, which has the higher elevation, ends at 70 on the canal. At one end, are the counterweights that help lifting the bridge with a power reduction, which helps to save energy. The handrail contains naturally stored energy to give a continuous and functional lighting with LEDs.
The project is part of a regeneration plan of Merchant Square, which intends to create a new attraction around green area on the banks of the canal. It is planned at the end of the regeneration, the project will be composed of 6 buildings (3 of them restaurants, a 42-storey skyscraper, among other projects) that will form a complex of more than 600 residential units and 500,000 square feet of working spaces.
Source and images: © Knight Architects