Warsaw Bridge

DKFS together with Schüssler-Plan as engineering expert have won the open international competition for the new Warsaw Bridge connecting the centre and old town of Warsaw with the Praga District to the east over the river Vistula. Once built it will be one of Europe’s longest footbridges. The competition held by the City of Warsaw for the 500m long pedestrian and cycle bridge attracted international attention with over 140 EOI and 40 final submissions.

The jury stated: “The winning proposal is modest, unusually elegant and timeless. It blends seamlessly into the existing city context and landscape. The designers have created an original and unique structure, but at the same time manage to not compete with the distinctive context […].” Renata Kaznowska, the Deputy Major of Warsaw, stated: “It was very important for us to choose what could be referred to as an architectural gem from the contestants. The chosen proposal does not dominate its context, but fits seamlessly into the unique urban setting. It feels like it has always been there. “

The particular in-plan geometry of the bridge generates a zig zag as a result of the off-set of the historic urban grids of the historic Warsaw and the up and coming Praga district in the east. At the kink points viewing platforms develop which provide new vistas across the river and towards the old town with its UNESCO protected world heritage site. The crossing of the almost half a kilometre-long bridge becomes a non-linear choreographed experience. The choreographed experience continues with the elevation of the new infrastructure. Seen as particular non-intrusive, but complimentary in the skyline of Warsaw the elegant silhouette mirrors the flow of forces and engineering logic of the landmark structure. The largest span incorporates an asymmetrical leaning pylon staying the larger of the two viewing terraces. The bridge is not just infrastructure, but becomes a place of interest and a destination in itself while continuing the urban landscape.

The bank interfaces are designed to flexibly incorporate future town-planning developments and at the same time to ensure that the high-quality structure blends in consistently. Interference with the outstanding architecture of the Vistula Boulevards is minimised and the existing new infrastructure is integrated. The steps direct to the Boulevards on the west form an intense three-dimensional intersection with the successful architecture of the recently opened Boulevards and its highly successful architecture. On the east side more informal steps connect the bridge with the existing landscape and footpaths. The east abutment, with its terraces, becomes a place for the passer-by to rest offering unique views towards the west bank.

ClientCity of WarsawCommission1st Prize Open International Competition- Commission after Competition / Winner Group Negotiation ProcedureLocationWarsaw, PLStatusExecution Design - Preparations for Tender 2021Length560m (incl. secondary span)CollaboratorsSPI Sp. z o.o Warsaw / MOSTEX, Gedansk / QLab Labaratory of Light, Katowice

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