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Elegant crossing for Dublin's fair city

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news in pictures

Dublin-based architect Howley Harrington (James Howley and Sean Harrington), with engineer Price & Myers (Robert Myers), have won a £10,000 international competition to design a new pedestrian bridge across the Liffey. It will link the thriving Temple Bar area with the north side of the city, lying between the Grattan Bridge and the 1816 Ha'penny footbridge (shown foreground, far right), whose light structure is echoed by the competition winner.

Chosen from 153 entries, the steel truss proposal will be a key millennium project for the city. It will be fabricated as a single piece, complete with all finishes and lighting, and will be lifted into position by a single floating crane.

The design comprises an asymmetric parabolic arch, with a one in 20 gradient, curving inwards on plan from each side of the bridge. Short ramps and shallow steps on the lower north bank and a dropped pavement on the south accommodate different quay heights; portal legs are contained within the granite-faced concrete shell abutments.

An aluminium plank deck, punctured by fine slots, is supported off a series of secondary ribs running between the cross-members, which integrate with the top booms of the truss, continuing upwards to provide support for the brass-clad leaning rail and balustrade. Lighting is concealed using fibre optics within the leaning rails and along the sides and centre of the deck.

Sean Harrington worked for nine years at Edward Cullinan Architects, while James Howley worked on projects for Terence Conran and ibm during his 12-year stay in London.

Architect: Howley Harrington

Structural engineer: Price & Myers

Services engineer: VMRA

QS: Austin Reddy and Company

Lighting consultant: Lighting Design Partnership

Computer graphics: Cadventure

Specialist consultation/fabrication advice: Techcrete (RL) Ltd

Modelmaker: George Rome Innes

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