Bruges Canal Footbridge Sculpture – BRUG; Bruges Canal Footbridge Sculpture – BRUG;

Bruges Canal Footbridge Sculpture BRUG, Bruges

Steel footbridge installation links art and engineering

Bruge’s new temporary steel footbridge BRUG straddles the city’s picturesque Groenerei Canal as part of the city’s 2018 Triennial, a showcase of contemporary art and architecture.

The footbridge connects the worlds of art installation and architecture, offering a new link between previously disconnected sides of the canal and the city, and opening up the possibility of new, unexpected encounters.

Created by Polish artist Jarosław Kozakiewicz, the sculptural footbridge mixes tubular steel with canvas triangles arranged on a proportional system where intersecting lines evoke the eyes, ears, nose and mouth of a human face.

We were appointed by Kozakiewicz, who works at the intersection of art, science and architecture, as a design consultant. Our engineers provided consultancy services to the artist, initially helping to develop the outline of the bridge, and then providing the full detailed design and workshop drawings, as well as supervision during manufacturing.

The sculpture is the second bridge we have designed in collaboration with Kozakiewicz, after working on the Sola Footbridge which connects the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the city of Oświęcim. 

Project Summary


8.4 tonnes of steel used

353D joints used

21.76mtotal bridge span

Bruges Canal Footbridge Sculpture – BRUG Bruges Canal Footbridge Sculpture – BRUG

Joining the dots: the geometry of the design

The shape of the accessible footbridge sculpture is dictated by a series of steel joints, which articulate the rods of steel to form trapezoidal and triangular shapes.

The project’s key technical challenge was the geometry of the design, including the joints. Using advanced modelling software, our engineers were able to optimize the design and the use of materials, producing an accessible yet slender steel structure with code-compliant safety features.

 

Exploring this year’s theme of a Liquid City, the Bruges Triennial commissioned 15 artists to create an art trail of installations exploring how public spaces and urban architecture respond to themes including inviting spaces, creative cooperation projects and the city imagined. Running from May to September, the installations will enrich and revitalise the urban context of the old quarter.

 

Kozakiewicz’s footbridge aims to create another platform for chance encounters in an urban context and is designed so it can be easily disassembled and re-installed elsewhere.

This is a signature project for us. The artist had a vision and we helped to materialize it, to satisfy the shape of the footbridge from an artistic and engineering point of view. ” Artur A Czarnecki Artur A Czarnecki Bridge Practice Lead, Poland