Te Wero Bridge designs unveiled
By Richard High02 September 2008
Auckland City Council, New Zealand has selected a design by Hyder Consulting, Denton Corker Marshall and Kenneth Grubb Associates as the winner of an international design competition for the Te Wero Bridge.
The winning design, a twin leaf bascule bridge, with a mast structure that houses counter weights and a control room, was described by the chair of the judging panel, Professor John Hunt from Auckland University's school of Architecture, as a "striking submission [that] stood out from others in respect of its high level of design innovation and the unique way the twin leaves open."
The judging panel was particularly impressed by the design's high level of innovation, the dramatic effect of the bridge opening and closing, the landmark impact of the mast structure and its potential for special event illumination, the profile of the three main elements subtly reflecting contemporary yacht hull and sail forms and the combination of the two pedestrian routes in a single promenade.
The bridge will be surrounded by tall structures, so the winning solution needed to have strong visual impact, be large in scale, bold in form and clearly identifiable from its surroundings, said a Hyder spokesman. Taking inspiration from images of closely tacking America's cup yachts, the form and motion of the bridge were developed to create a "stunning efficient design that transforms a routine opening bascule into elegant choreography".
"The NZ$ 50 million (US$ 35 million) bridge will have a clear opening span of more than 40 m to retain boat access to the Viaduct Harbour. Constructed with a lightweight aluminium deck, the design of the counterweight results in very low energy use. The material selection also gives excellent durability and provides a sustainable low maintenance solution," explained Phil Tindall, Hyder's technical director in the international design team.
Auckland City Council sees the Te Wero bridge, which will carry cyclists, pedestrians, passenger transport and possibly light rail, as vital to its plans for the future success of the wider waterfront and Central Business District regeneration.