The New York High Line Park is a similar idea to what the Garden Bridge in London is aiming to be, only it is already in existence. The High Line used to be an abandoned elevated railway, however it has since been reimagined to become an amazing, calm, peaceful park running through the city. It introduced a chance of pace for the people of New York and it helps to create somewhere for them to simply walk and exercise amongst a unique environment. Most importantly, it has been a success.
It is this bridge which has struck the biggest interest with me so far. As such I have investigated it further.
This beautiful design seems to have perfect placement and integration amongst the city of London. The design is elegant and appropriate to it's purpose and despite being very different to the conventional image of London, it does not seem out of place in the city at all. In fact, in the image above, the bridge seems to have been accepted so much by the environment that it seems natural to see it there.
The chosen place for the bridge cleverly connects a currently "unresolved curve" "to link Covent Garden to the South Bank". It is located right next to a tube entrance/ exit to ensure a steady flow of users.
Heatherwick describes the design as two "planters coming up like people might have their garden", "just on a slightly different scale". This can kind of be seen from the 4 screenshots above, which were take of an animation of the bridge growing out of the water, just as organically as the idea it represents.
The idea behind the Garden Bridge is to allow people to take their time and meander across it. The intention is not to provide another bridge for people to rush across, but one for people to enjoy. It is set at a different pace to the rest of London, creating a juxtaposition right in the heart of the city.
I have looked into bridges which make full use of nature to get from place to another, some of my findings are below.
All of these examples create what are essentially hills over roads. Although they are technically bridges built to go over the roads, it feels more natural to consider them as a part of the landscape, which the roads go through. I like the use of trees and shrubbery more than when only grass is used. However, what I have noticed from my findings is that the bridges often fit with context, using the same trees or ground covering that is found in the surrounding areas. The only exception to this seems to be the bottom left image, which has used a completely different grass, not fitting in at all.
As earlier stated, I am interested in using illumination in my design to provide some light to the canal. This bridge in Korea is a brilliant example of how a bridge can do this, creating a rainbow effect across the water.
This bridge possess a very interesting take on the idea multiple levels, weaving one side amongst the other. This is something which had been in the back of my mind for my own designs, I like the idea of having a bridge which weaves and that mixes the transition between one floor and the next almost seamlessly.
I love the roof of this bridge and the way that spirals as you walk through it. It allows for an environment which shifts as you walk through it. This is an interesting concept that I would like to take advantage of. Perhaps making use of effects such as the moiré effect.
I love the reflection of this bridge and the way that forms a full circle. It has made me think about there being more to the bridge than what is above the water. Furthermore, it brought to my attention that the bridge itself can be used to frame a view as a whole. The composition of this photo uses the bridge to capture the background. Why not use my own bridge to do the same?
Despite searching the internet, this is the only picture I could find of this bridge and it is unfortunately untitled. Never the less, it is a brilliant example of using natural and indirect routes to cross something.
This brilliant idea for a bridge has got to be the funnest example of crossing from on place to another that I have ever seen. It brings an element of unique fun to a concept that is traditionally fairly mundane. It completely changes how you get from A to B, reinventing a conventional way of travel. This is what a good design should do. It might not be the most efficient way of crossing the river Seine, it might not even be the safest, but people are drawn to such ideas and the use of such structures is all but guaranteed.
Despite being on a completely different scale to my project, this bridge caught my attention. The two lane approach is interesting, essentially they have created two side by side bridges which run parallel with one another. I think that this is an interesting system and it is one that I have never seen before.
It could be used to provide different views, blocking the middle areas of the two for example would require that one must go on both bridges to obtain all views. They could even be put at alternative height, taking the two story factor into account.