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Byens Bro wins prestigious award


Gottlieb Paludan Architects’ foot and cycle bridge, Byens Bro, spanning the railway tracks in Odense was named the winner, when for the 50th time, Odense Local Authority recognized excellence and beauty in architectural design.  “Byens Bro is a striking architectural structure and even a city gate which has already become a landmark for a city in growth” – so runs one of the comments made by the panel of judges behind the award.

Byens Bro connects the urban areas north and south of Odense Railway Centre by focusing on the core function and the natural traffic patterns around the station. The functional requirements are translated into a structure that integrates art, lighting, construction, bicycle parking and also creates a usable urban space.

Byens Bro bridges the gap between people and makes Odense both larger and smaller
The Chair of the panel of judges, Jane Jegind, local councillor and member of the culture committee, explains as follows why Gottlieb Paludan Architects was selected as the winner:

Byens Bro re-establishes the close relationship between city and harbour at the scale of the city – and so much more. Byens Bro choreographs the movement across the railway tracks and brings to it an extraordinary dimension in terms of the experience it engenders, bringing out ‘unknown’ facets of the city not unlike enriching, new faces. Byens Brois a striking architectural structure and even a city gate which has already become a landmark for a city in growth. The overall vision, the elegant, gentle sweep across the railway tracks and the distinctive, polished steel pylon with the three supporting cables come together architecturally and constructively as a cohesive structure whose unusual clarity belies its complex construction; it is a well-balanced entity, in which all components, large and small, synergize on so many levels.  

Byens Bro is a prime example of successful collaboration between architect and engineer. Towards the city, at the point where the pylon is rooted, the bridge’s supple arms frame and embrace the urban space that catches and leads pedestrians and cyclists on their way to the harbour, the various educational institutions or into the city where even the bicycle parking facilities are convincingly integrated. At dusk, the lighting of Byens Bro produces the impression that the bridge is floating weightlessly across the tracks, while the polished steel pylon reflects the evening sky, emphasizing the ease with which the bridge made its entrance and now welcomes everybody. Byens Bro has made Odense both larger and smaller. Byens Bro is a testament to one of the most important jobs of architecture – bridging the gap between people. ”

In addition to Jane Jegind, the panel of judges comprises local councillor Anders W. Berthelsen, architect Mette Tony, architect Erik Brandt Dam, Head of Urban Development at Odense Local Authority Henrik Lumholdt as well as Head of Operations and Engineering at Odense Local Authority Thomas Østergård Jørgensen.

A spectacular and functional project
Gottlieb Paludan Architects’ Creative Director Jesper Gottlieb is delighted with the award and the praise from the panel of judges:

“We are thrilled and very proud to receive this prestigious award and to contribute to the development of Odense by connecting the city centre with Odense’s new area of growth at the harbour. Our team has worked tirelessly to create a project that is spectacular as well as functional, ensuring that safety and accessibility would remain at the heart of the creative process throughout."   

The design was created with clear focus on optimal functionality, long service life and minimal operating costs. At the same time, the design prioritizes safety and accessibility for all vulnerable road users: pedestrians and cyclists as well as train passengers.

Further recognition
Byens Bro opened in 2015 and later the same year, the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS) selected the structure as the winner of an Award of Merit for its outstanding and creative use of steel.