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Powell-Williams lands Portuguese bridge contest

[FIRST LOOK + SKETCHES] London-based Powell-Williams Architects has seen off a score of local practices to win the competition to design a new footbridge in Aveiro, Portugal

Costing £490,000 and designed with Buro Happold, the pre-cast concrete scheme spans between the Rossio and Bairro areas of the city. The project marks the first phase of a four-year programme linking several areas of open space either side of the canal central to form a new sustainability park.

According to practice founder Kit Powell-Williams, ‘the main span and the ramp spans will be pre-stressed to achieve the least possible thickness of deck structure and use the minimum of materials.’

He added: ‘None of the new structure is taken into the canal and [will keep] the existing canal walls largely intact, forming new pier foundations on the landward side and only cutting though the existing walls to allow each pier to cantilever out to carry the main and ramp spans.

‘In terms of the bridge form, the strong sunlight of the Atlantic coast suggests the use of simple outlines which will produce high levels of contrast between light and shade, assisting visual definition of the structure particularly when seen from the park area where there is significant visual “clutter” from trees, benches and so on.’

Work is expected to complete in June 2011.



Design team: Kit Powell-Williams (architect, lead consultant) and Chris Powell-Williams
Engineers: Buro Happold (Simon Fryer)
Client: Município de Aveiro
Funding: co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Approximate construction cost: €560,000
Construction completion: June 2011

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