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Knight Architects scoops Norwegian bridge contest

Final view d with kayak
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Buckinghamshire-based Knight Architects has won a key role on a pedestrian and road bridge in Norway

The practice will work with local architect SAAHA, engineer Degree of Freedom and landscape designer Asplan Viak on New City Bridge in Drammen.

The team won an international competition held by the City of Drammen for the crossing of the Drammenselva. It is part of an initiative to make the city more attractive to visitors, businesses and residents.

Knight said the design of the bridge was a direct response to local constraints, including electrified rail tracks on the south side and a street-level connection at the north shore.

‘The bridge elevation confidently rises from the Bragernes Torg, crossing the river with a general vertical curve, and slowly comes down on the Stromso side, where it naturally ties into the station square,’ said the practice.

‘This vertical alignment gives the bridge a unique, asymmetrical appearance, accentuated by a series of arches, each taller and longer in span than the previous one. Looking from the south, the descending set of arches introduces a sense of rhythm, reflecting the dynamic movement of a stone skimming across the water’s surface.’

Final view c bybru

Final view c bybru

A stepped artificial peninsula will provide space for leisure activities and replace an existing underpass.

The bridge parapet will feature a line of vertical steel louvres, providing transparency in elevation. This will be topped with a wide wooden handrail providing space and safety while allowing views along the river.

Benches, lighting masts, wind protection barriers and flag posts will give the bridge an ‘urban promenade’ character, the practice said.

Knight Architects previously played a key part in the 1km-long cable-stayed Mersey Gateway Bridge. It has also had a controversial design support role on the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Crossing, which is currently going through public consultation.

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