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Salford Meadow Bridge

Pedestrian & cycle bridge, 2014

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Client: Salford Borough Council
Location: Salford, UK
Budget: £1.9 million
Engineer: Arup
RIBA design competition winner

The form of the bridge is a story that grows out of the form of the land: the broad meander of River Irwell, the meandering paths of Salford Meadow, the floral form of the meadow’s wildflowers. The Meadow Bridge amplifies the characteristics of its site, and embraces the metaphor of growth. Reaching out from the meadow towards the city, the bridge lands in a new public space with wild flowers mounds and seating, bringing the meadow to the city. 

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The sculptural qualities of the proposal are underpinned by an innovative approach  that learns lessons from natural structures. A simple primary twisting arch supports a bridge deck made of a pair of curving torsion beams. The curvature in the arch and the sweeping deck optimises structural stiffness, resulting in an ultra-lightweight structure using minimal material.

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a delicate tendril grows across the water,
connecting the city to the meadow

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In the still dark waters above the weir, the white bridge’s reflection creates a complete loop. As a landmark that links the delights of nature to the city centre, the bridge signposts the innovation and education in the university area.

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