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Bridge across Fossvogur Bay, Iceland

Gottlieb Paludan Architects developed a proposal for a new bridge across Fossvogur in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was announced as the runner-up in the international bridge design competition. The bridge was designed in collaboration with KI Rådgivende Ingeniører, ES-Consult and Arkteikn.

The bridge is a landmark structure and an important and prominent link between Reykjavík and Kópavogur municipality and the surroundings of Fossvog Bay. Thus, it is a very visible structure that requires ambitious design in terms of architecture and engineering.

At the same time, the role of the bridge is to implement and shape new modes of transportation – combining eco-friendly public transport with emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle traffic into one structure. Thus, the bridge will become a symbol of changes in travel habits, from dominant car traffic to environmentally friendly public transport.

Our proposal offers an elegant crossing of the Fossvogur bay with a minimum number of piers in the water - whilst respecting the height-restrictions from the nearby Reykjavik Airport. The shallow concrete arch combined with a twin box-girder of steel, creates a balanced structural design and an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The twin box girder separates the pedestrians and the cyclists from the BRT (bus rapid transit) lanes and creates a safe travel for all commuters.

The overall landscape design embeds the bridge into a new periphery as well as established surroundings that highlight the character of the Icelandic environment. Wind, water and stone are the predominantly defining elements that shape the coastal landscape over time and our landscape design embraces the theme of the tidal coastline.

Niches for recreational spaces and experiences can be accessed when the tides allow it. In addition, the topographic terraces create a natural flow of desire-lines for the BRT, cyclists and pedestrians

The jury’s opinion

“The main idea of the proposal is strong and is reflected in a stylish and refined structure that works well with its surroundings. The arch shape is light and beautiful. The lightness of the bridge is underlined by V-shaped pillars that touch the sea only in two places and the bridge seems to float over the sea.

Connections at the end of the bridge are well established. Separation between driving traffic and unprotected road users is good. Resting places at the end of the bridge are particularly interesting as places of experience, not too extensive and fit well into the country and form a shelter. The structure of the bridge results in a simple choice of materials, taking into account environmental considerations.

The lighting design is well implemented and shows a good overall solution for pedestrians and the appearance of the bridge”.

Part of Reykjavik’s coming BRT-system
The coming bridge is an important part of the infrastructure for Reykjaviks new BRT system, which is currently being designed by Gottlieb Paludan in collaboration with an international team, headed by the French consultancy firm Artelia; and with consulting engineers MOE (Denmark) and HNIT (Iceland) together with the Icelandic architectural firm YRKI.

Read more about the project here: https://www.gottliebpaludan.com/en/post/gpa-design-new-public-transport-system-reykjavik

Project location