Pedestrian and cycle bridge in Zurich, Switzerland
Gottlieb Paludan Architects has developed a design proposal for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge in Zurich, Switzerland. The purpose of the bridge is to connect the neighbourhoods on either side of the railway terrain at Zurich Central Station for vulnerable road users, thus promoting pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
The City of Zurich and SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) launched the design competition for the new bridge as part of a general strategy to promote cycling in Zurich. The neighbourhoods on either side of Zurich Central Station are currently separated by a wide railway corridor with few bridge connections. Now, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge will cross the complex railway terrain at Zurich Hauptbahnhof, providing a safe connection for the city's vulnerable road users.
The bridge will connect to the Letten Viaduct - a former railway viaduct that has been converted into a public foot and cycle path. It will fit over the railway embankment parallel to a listed 1920s stone arch viaduct, which is still used for railway transport. The design of the bridge must take special account of the historic viaduct and the project is further influenced by the competition programme's requirement that there must be no track closures during construction.
Gottlieb Paludan Architects' design proposal, developed in collaboration with AFRY, is based on carefully integrating the bridge into the surrounding historic building structures. We have emphasised an understated design, so that the bridge does not intrude into the foreground of the stone arch viaduct, which runs parallel across the railway terrain. The cross-section of the bridge is simple and does not form a silhouette - the experience of the bridge is thus in the layout, in the course of the bridge, which brings cyclists and pedestrians both under and over the railway tracks and back to the city in a soft arc.