Merit: Walkway Bridges, London Wall Place
Structural engineer: WSP UK Ltd
Steelwork contractor: William Hare
Main contractor: Multiplex Construction Europe
Client: London Wall Place Limited PartnershipDuring the construction of the London Wall Place (LWP) development some of the existing Barbican Highwalks had to be removed as part of the demolition and enabling works. These have now been reinstated by stylish walkways fabricated in weathering steel.
“For the LWP bridges the key challenge was to deliver an elegant and slender solution that responded to and complemented the architecture of the development. Steel helped us deliver this and enabled us to make the bridges as shallow as possible,” says WSP Director Stephen Jackson.
“Weathering steel was chosen for the bridges to provide a form that complemented, but also contrasted with, the other materials used in the developed to set them apart and give them their own identity.”
The footbridges comprise bridge deck and parapets as integral elements made from steel plate up to 100mm-thick in places. The deck acts as a diaphragm structure to transfer lateral loads back to the supports. Parapet depths are a maximum 1,200mm high.
The pedestrian sides of the new walkways are typically lined with a steel balustrade topped with a wood handrail. Vertical lighting strips providing consistent, even lighting have been discreetly incorporated into the balustrade’s depth at every 3m.
All six footbridges are suspended from the new buildings, two utilising complex cable stay and pylon supports connecting into the City of London walkway system.
The judges say individually the six bridges that form this walkway may not catch the eye. However, even though structurally different, through uniform language they cleverly work as one. The weathered steel gives a warmth, which combined with the different structural forms, creates an urban landscape that works with the surroundings to produce lovely public spaces above and below.