Net Bridge by Atelier Hapsitus

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Net Bridge is a five-lane pedestrian bridge that will serve as a new gateway linking central Beirut to the marina.

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Designed by Nadim Karam of Lebanese architects Atelier Hapsitus, work is due to start on the project early next year, subject to a favourable security situation, of course.

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The project came about after a competition for a footbridge organised by Solidere - the development company rebuilding much of central Beirut - failed to select a winner. Atelier Hapsitus then proposed their Net Bridge.

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Atelier Hapsitus also designed The Cloud, a speculative proposal for a resort city raised 300m in the air above Dubai.

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Below is a statement from the architect about Net Bridge:

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THE NET BRIDGE

Political and security situation allowing, the Net Bridge, designed by Nadim Karam & Atelier Hapsitus, will become the Marine gateway to central Beirut in 2008.

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A pedestrian bridge of five lanes which wind, converge and dive at different points, it is as much a temptation to linger, savour the 360° view of the sea and city coastline, or play hide-in-seek as it is to get to point B.

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It is called the Net Bridge in reference to its aesthetic inspired by the fisherman’s net, and to its concept inspired by the ultimate zone for accidental discoveries, exploration and communication.

Originating from a design competition launched by Solidere in 2001, the construction of the Net Bridge has been constantly adjourned due to the events rocking the city since the assassination of the ex-Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri, in 2005.

The original competition requirements were for a small private footbridge mainly intended to service the millionaires in the downtown Beirut and Platinum Towers going to the Beirut Marina (designed by Steven Holl and now under construction).

The Atelier Hapsitus counter-proposal was for a public bridge, opening the piazza in front of it to the general public and extending the north-south succession of piazzas with a wide, woven bridge into the marina.

The concept, developed into a workable structure with the Advanced Geometry Unit of Arup (London), is basically that of five flying bands carried by two main girders. Currently, the foundations of the Net Bridge are being laid and construction is scheduled for 2008.

  • abyssinian

    wow… its Fugly!!!

  • Zelig

    Aside from being unattractive, these winding lanes that make it interesting also happen to make it a security nightmare. I’m assuming that in a city like Beirut (as a person on the western hemisphere perceives it) security is extremely necessary.

  • Someone

    Looks like any other bridge to me.

  • http://www.alinechahine.com aline chahine

    this is just awfull.. beirut will suffer, maybe the idea of a bridge isnt bad since i live in beirut and i know the area but the design…:ss

  • Citizen

    Scale? Sensitivity? Complexity of ignorance. Need more education. Poor Beirut…
    Wonder if the net he used was before or after fishing

  • Tarek

    LET’S BUILD IT…this bridge might be one of the few initiatives in beirut that adresses all the people…especially: the pedestrians…something truly new for beirut…

  • jordboost

    I think that the design isnt that bad, but still it doesnt seem like it really appeals to the masses. I hope that they can go into a new phase and try to design something a little better. Maybe simpler as well to get around since most pedestrians are not going to be the smartest of the bunch when it comes to getting from one place to another.