Net Bridge is a five-lane pedestrian bridge that will serve as a new gateway linking central Beirut to the marina.
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.
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.
Atelier Hapsitus also designed The Cloud, a speculative proposal for a resort city raised 300m in the air above Dubai.
Below is a statement from the architect about Net Bridge:
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.
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.
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.