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Knights' Japanese fan-inspired Paddington footbridge opens

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Knight Architects has completed this 20m-long bridge across the Grand Union Canal in Paddington, London which opens up like a fan

The bridge’s three metre wide deck is constructed from five cantilevered steel beams which are raised using hydraulic jacks in an action that replicates a traditional Japanese hand fan. The first beam rises to an angle of 70 degrees with the last achieving the required clearance over the canal of 2.5 metres at mid channel.

Designed with structural engineer AKT II, the crossing forms part of European Land Developments 116,000m² mixed-use regeneration masterplan of Merchant Square.

Knight Architects won the comission for the site, where two architects had previously drawn up schemes, following a limited design competition in 2012. In 2006 Sutherland Hussey Architects won a competition for the site, but fell out with the client following planners’ criticism. Hake Associates was drafted in to replace the practice in 2007, but their designs were superseded following the adoption of a new masterplan.

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