Snow-free heated bridge
opens in Sweden


News: a Stockholm architecture firm has completed a pedestrian bridge with a built-in heating system to keep it clear of ice and snow.

Bridges typically ice up faster than roads and pavements because they have more exposed surfaces, so Erik Andersson Architects solved the problem by circulating warm air through the structure.

The bridge is like a hollow beam with hot air inside it, explained Erik Andersson. "As we only wanted to heat the walkway, we used insulation to direct the heat to the right place," he told Dezeen.

"We wanted a slim bridge and the conventional heating alternatives would have made the bridge too fat."

Tullhus Bridge by Erik Andersson Architects

Located in Norrköping, approximately 100 miles south-west of Stockholm, Tullhus Bridge provides a route between the new residential area of Strömsholmen and the north quay in the city centre.

The steel walkway spans just over 70 metres and has an hourglass body that tapers towards the middle, while LED bulbs have been fitted under the handrails to illuminate the bridge at night.

Tullhus Bridge by Erik Andersson Architects

We recently featured a looping bridge in Sarajevo and a bridge held up by helium balloons in a historic estate in England – see all bridges.

Photographs are by Åke E:son Lindman.

  • napoleon

    Beautiful feat, but how about heating the stairs? Is that not where most people fall on ice?

  • Bhavnesh

    It’d be interesting to learn more about the heating system used and maybe see a cross section revealing the structure. How is the hot air inside heated?

  • J. Knodell

    It’s a pity they couldn’t find a way to heat the steps leading up to the bridge, too.

  • mister

    Pity, what a waste of energy.

    • rem

      Before drawing conclusions, it would be interesting to see the energy bill for heating vs the energy bill for removing ice and snow using conventional techniques. It is perhaps not as much a waste as it seems at first sight.

  • Neno

    Perfect place to use a geothermal ice-melting system. There aren’t many successful applications like this for public spaces in Sweden.

  • Alfie

    Are you kidding me with this statement “… Erik Andersson Architects solved the problem by circulating warm air through the structure.” The ones who would make hot air circulate throught the structure would definitely be the engineers involved. It is bad enough that engineers are seldom credited for their influence on the shape of the bridge (which also persists in this article).

    Now it has been taken a step further where the architects are credited with things that have been exclusively done by engineers. The most the architects could have done is to propose that the bridge is to be heated but not to figure out how to heat it. Give credit where credit is due.

    Otherwise it is a beautiful bridge, however I doubt it is environmentaly friendly. I would like to see an environmental evaluation done on this.