Our project proposal for the renovation and reactivation of the city bridge has focused on recycle-ability, mobility as well as ecological and social sustainability. Strengthening the connection between the inner city and the Autostadt, the bridge has been designed as a high quality multi-functional urban area, inviting gathering, exhibition and community in an improved microclimate. The project takes on a holistic vision in the rethinking of both the programming and appearance of the 250m long promenade. The overall approach has been to divide the linear space into zones, where the eastern side is more closed, programmed and sheltered from the wind, while the west side is more open, functioning as a transitional space, offering beautiful views to the historic power plant.
Reuse and repurposing of the existing bridge’s elements has been central in the bridge design. Accordingly, after precise analysis, the entirety of the original support structure has been chosen to be retained and the steel supports and girders, glass elements of the canopy and railings are reused. Wooden frame components are added to the existing bridge grid in addition to vegetation in the form of plant boxes along the railing and on the roof elements. The new green elements of the bridge not only visual depict the project’s commitment to sustainability, but also significantly enhance the microclimate and thus the quality of stay for all.
By saving costs in the reusing of components already on site, the majority of the project budget has been dedicated to generous furnishings in the form of 1) greening, 2) seating, 3) experience, and 4) exhibition, to increase the quality of stay and create a new identity for the bridge. Greening is provided in the form of plant boxes for microclimate and shading. Seating furniture is used in areas for relaxation but also conversation. Experiences are provided in the form of a kiosk, merchandise shop and sports and play equipment. Finally, exhibition areas are established to offer the possibility to show press, research and/or project material to passersby, contributing to the overall revitalization and corporate identity of the bridge.
The redesign of the roof is what spans the entire bridge and ties the whole project together. The glued laminated timber frame creates a repetitive pattern along the bridge’s entire length, and creates a wave-like moment close to the central staircase area, accentuating the location. The wood gives a warmth to the large piece of infrastructure, creating a landmark and pedestrian friendly space for the Autostadt.
Size: 250m length
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Collaborators: SBP Engineering
Type: 1st Prize, Competition
Team: Henning Stüben, Heechan Park, Luis Manovel, Jieun Kim, Borja Santurino, Rosa Fuentes Fernandez, Gaspar Cánepa