Actions linked to human well-being are promoted throughout the world, such as modern pedestrian bridges: practical, aesthetic, fun and incredible.
The way in which we conceive the world has been changing throughout history. If today it seems to us that changes are faster, it is due to two simple reasons: the world is more connected than ever, which fosters creativity and cultural exchange, and technological advances have grown exponentially, increasing our life expectancies and wellness.
That well-being begins with the promotion of a healthy life, of non-vehicular movement, that is, of one’s own. So promoting the use of our main means of transport, the legs, is good news throughout the world. Today we show you the most incredible pedestrian bridges that human beings have built in this century or, at least, the ones that we like.
Singapore, a city with spectacular pedestrian bridges
We start with Singapore, where they have built a very unique pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Its shape is reminiscent of a snake traversing the mountain ranges above the city, creating some spectacular views in the process. The Henderson Wave pedestrian bridge has a length of 274 meters, and its main decoration is 7 curves that are alternately distributed above and below its platform, but the best thing is that it is completely covered in wood, creating a cozy and fantastic space.
Also in Singapore is the Helix Bridge, a fantastic pedestrian bridge that takes us to the spectacular Marina Bay Sands hotel, and whose double helix shape mimics DNA. It is 280 meters long, and 650 tons of stainless steel were used for its construction, for the spirals and pillars that support the bridge. The best: see it at night, when it is illuminated by LED lights.
Portugal has the longest pedestrian bridge in the world
And, speaking of propellers, we go to China. There we found a work of engineering capable of labeling a grimace on your face without you realizing it. We are talking about the Ruyi Bridge, in Taizhou, with a length of 100 meters, 140 meters high, and vertigo views. In the middle area, the bridge is divided into three: two parts that go down and one that goes up. Without a doubt, crossing this bridge must be quite an experience.
We now travel to our neighbor Portugal, which has the longest pedestrian bridge in the world with, nothing more and nothing less, than 514 meters. A real pass. This impressive work is in Arouca, and was built with a metal fence about 175 meters above the Pava River. The proud fathers of design, Itecons, tell us that they needed 16,000 meters of steel cable for the catenaries, which were produced by the company Oliveira Sá. Please, this bridge must be enjoyed in the first person.
In London there is a bridge that rolls up on itself
Span is not always the most important thing on pedestrian bridges, for it shows two buttons, and both in London. On the one hand, the Merchant Square walkway, a three-meter-wide bridge in the shape of a fan, elegant and practical. Several hydraulic jacks raise the cantilever, divided into five parts, when a boat approaches, when it leaves, they return to their position, forming a small and classic gangway. The idea was from Knight Architects.
On the other hand, in the same city we find another fantastic creation of an artist popular in these pages, Thomas Heatherwick, who we recently saw in New York. The Rolling Bridge is a bridge that connects twelve meters of distance, capable of freeing up space when boats pass by in a very simple way: by rolling up on itself. This wonder is in Paddington Basin, in Little Venice, and is made up of eight sections, paved in dark wood.
Madrid also has important pedestrian bridges
On the other side of the Atlantic they also know how to build modern pedestrian bridges, such as the Tec Bridge in Toronto. It is a spectacular bridge that crosses 35 meters, connecting the Hudson’s Bay shopping center and the Toronto Eaton Center (TEC). Its creators are Wilkinson Eyre Architects, of which we have already spoken on occasion in these pages. The bridge has 300 square meters of laminated glass and 190 square meters of bronze plates, arranged in such a way that it seems to vibrate in time with its surroundings.
At the other end of the American continent we find a truly spectacular pedestrian bridge. It is designed by the Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, its name is Puente de la Mujer, and it is located in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The bridge is 170 meters long and six meters wide. It is divided into three sections, two fixed and one mobile, which rotates to allow the passage of boats. The steel needle is 39 meters high and is made with steel from the Basque Country.
The last work is found in the Canary Islands
In Madrid you can also cross elegant bridges, such as the Perrault Bridge or Monumental Bridge of Arganzuela, designed by the Frenchman Dominique Perrault. The bridge has two sections joined in an artificial hill, crossing the Manzanares in 150 meters in length on one side, and passing over the Parque de la Arganzuela on the other with 128 meters. The spectacular design uses stainless steel to execute self-supporting helical structures. It is a marvel of engineering.
To finish this mini-list, we travel to the wonderful Canary Islands, specifically, to one of its capitals: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This year, the Onda Atlántica footbridge was inaugurated there, a spectacular pedestrian bridge designed by the Onda Arquitectura studio. Its floor plan makes the most of the space to smoothly cross the city’s main highway, linking the idyllic Las Canteras beach with the productive Las Palmas port. The V-shape of the walkway maximizes structural stability and protects from traffic noise. Who wants to visit it?