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Funder Motorway Bridge

Gottlieb Paludan Architects provided architectural and landscape-architectural consultancy services in connection with the construction of the motorway bridge across Funder River Valley, near Silkeborg in Jutland. It is the longest river valley bridge in Denmark and part of the stretch of motorway running between Herning and Silkeborg. GPA’s Uffe Wainø was in charge of the architectural concept, developed in close cooperation with the engineers on the project and architect Kresten Bloch.

At 740 metres, it is the longest bridge in Denmark that does not cross a major waterway. The bridge deck is 19,000 m². It is designed as a pair of parallel bridges, giving it a slender appearance and a lightness that belies its size. The twin girders rise 30 metres above the valley floor.

GPA worked on the integration of the bridge in the surrounding landscape, developed the bridge design principles and produced visualizations and presentation material for the competition entry.

The bridge affects the landscape of the river valley as little as possible. The structure is clear and simple in its expression and has a natural elegance and clarity all of its own, both overall and in its component parts. The clear simplicity of the design stands up to the vast landscape of the river valley and the sweeping movement of the structure adds a touch of serenity which is hard to define.

It was crucial to ensure that the scale of the bridge would match the scale of the spectacular landscape. The continuous curve of the structure is visually calming and provides the motorists with a magnificent panoramic view of the river valley. Architectural decisions regarding beam height, bridge deck and piers were heavily influenced by the wish to create a bridge with the greatest possible visual suppleness. The continuous beam height, for example, emphasizes the smooth, linear nature of the design. The beam is shaded by the cantilevered deck which is bordered by a smaller beam, catching the light. The piers are slightly tapered at the end and connected in pairs to exude stability. The competition entry was awarded 1st prize in 2007 and the bridge was completed in 2012.

Photos: Gottlieb Paludan Architects 

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