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Mühlendammbrücke, Berlin

Gottlieb Paludan Architects has collaborated with Rambøll on a proposal for the renewal of Mühlendammbrücke Bridge in the centre of Berlin. The proposal was awarded for its modern expression and innovative focus on the spaces under the bridge.

The new Mühlendammbrücke will provide passage for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and trams across the Spree River at Alexanderplatz in Berlin. The project aims to revive Berlin's tradition of linking infrastructure with business and urban life – similar to the brick-built S-Bahn viaducts that wind across the city. At the same time, the bridge will be future-proofed to support the shift from individual car traffic to green public transport. Therefore, the bridge's road lane can be converted into a boulevard without major intervention on the land side.

The vision of the project is to activate the urban space and connect the city on and under the bridge. The solution focuses on enhancing the quality of life under the bridge, including the addition of daylight and artificial light, which increase safety and accessibility on the bridge. The bridge is part of Berlin's ambition to create more climate-friendly infrastructure.

The chosen design language of the construction clearly places the bridge in the present without competing with its surroundings. The bridge is arranged in three spans and makes use of the foundations of the old bridge. The main structure consists of two steel box girders, approximately 17 metres wide and 114 metres long. The cross-section is subdivided into three chambers. The box girders are connected by cross ribs, which carry the superstructure of the tramway girder, which also consists of steel box girders. The distance between these three elements forms two spaces along the length of the bridge, that allow daylight to illuminate the space beneath the bridge. The bridge structure exudes dynamism and lightness, while the surrounding stairs and exits, developed from the bridge's form, provide good connections to the surrounding urban and landscape spaces.

The bridge deck is equipped with specially designed elements in the form of railings, seating, light poles and tramway masts, which can be moved as the functional space of the bridge changes. The lamp poles are equipped with functional luminaires that allow power outlets for street vendor carts or can be used to mount banners for special events.

The jury said: "The jury appreciates the modern form of the bridge and the chosen cut of the wide bridge profile to illuminate the space under the bridge. At Rolandufer, the design greatly enhances the space beneath the bridge with possible extensions to its uses."

The competition was launched by the Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Verkehr und Klimaschutz Abteilung Tiefbau, which received a total of 10 competition proposals. Gottlieb Paludan Architects received a fourth prize for the project. 

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