On 15 June 1996 a large bomb exploded in the centre of Manchester, injuring 220 people and causing immense damage to the core of the city and its social and economic fabric. The shattered footbridge, which connected two shopping centres across Corporation Street, remains one of the most vivid images. The renewal programme is now well under way, and in December 1997 Hodder Associates won the competition for a new footbridge. Its reinstatement may be seen as a symbol of the city's recovery.
Canyon-like Corporation Street is a significant linear north-south route through the city, culminating in the civic space of Albert Square. The footbridge, a hyperbolic paraboloid of revolution, appears as a lightweight glazed membrane stretched across the street. The arch form heightens its transparency and permits uninterrupted aspects, and its symmetry optically redresses the change in level of the boardwalk which threads through. Outside the membrane are 18 straight stainless-steel cables and compression members which spiral in alternating clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
STRUCTURAL & SERVICES ENGINEER: Ove Arup & Partners
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Davis, Langdon & Everest