Dezeen Magazine

Timber bridge

Ten statement bridges characterised by memorable designs

Interlocking timber, 3D-printed arches and rotating forms feature in this roundup of 10 unusual bridges from around the world.

Architecture studio Christ & Gantebein recently completed the New Aare Bridge in Switzerland, which drew praise for its "timeless" sculptural concrete form.

From Australia to Turkey, here are 10 bridges from the Dezeen archive that have made a statement with their striking designs.

New Aare Bridge in Switzerland
Photo is by Stefano Graziani

New Aare Bridge, Switzerland, by Christ & Gantenbein

Christ & Gantenbein designed this sculptural concrete bridge, which features five arches of varying widths across the Aare River in Aaru, Switzerland.

The structure has replaced a concrete crossing built in 1949 and features a pattern of vertical lines that takes cues from the town's stone buildings and medieval houses.

Find out more about New Aare Bridge ›

Cody Dock Rotating Bridge
Photo is by Jim Stephenson

Cody Dock Rolling Bridge, UK, by Thomas Randall-Page 

Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is a striking footbridge in east London by British designer Thomas Randall-Page that rotates via manual levers to let boats pass.

Made from weathering steel and oak, the bridge has a square profile and is informed by the simple mechanisms of Victorian industrial designs.

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Moynihan Connector bridge by SOM
Photo is by Andrew Frasz

Timber Bridge, USA, by SOM and James Corner Field Operations

Global studio SOM and landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations have installed a block-long timber truss bridge in New York City, connecting Manhattan's High Line to the renovated Penn Station.

Called Timber Bridge, the project is made from glue-laminated timber (glulam) and is supported by Y-shaped steel columns.

Find out more about Timber Bridge ›

Aerial view of Bara Bridge by Sam Crawford Architects
Photo is by Brett Boardman

Bara Bridge, Australia, by Sam Crawford Architects

Sam Crawford Architects referenced the shimmering appearance of eels when creating the Bara Bridge in Sydney's Centennial Park, which is characterised by fins of anodised aluminium that fan outwards towards the water.

The bridge replaced a decaying crossing in an effort to restore the connection between the park and the surrounding suburb's pedestrian and cycle routes.

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Ribbon of Light LA
Photo is by Iwan Baan

Ribbon of Light, USA, by Michael Maltzan Architecture

Sixth Street Viaduct, or the Ribbon of Light, is a bridge with swooping arches that stretches over the Los Angeles River.

Michael Maltzan Architecture designed the concrete and steel bridge with ten ribbon-like pairs of arches that are lit on the underside, hence the crossing's nickname.

Find out more about Ribbon of Light ›

Underside of 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey
Image is courtesy of COWI

1915 Çanakkale Bridge, Turkey, by COWI

Consulting group COWI designed the world's longest suspension bridge in Turkey, spanning 2,023 metres.

Called the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge, the crossing features a steel deck, which is suspended from two distinctive red towers.

Find out more about 1915 Çanakkale Bridge ›

Timber structure in Gulou Waterfront by LUO Studio
Photo is by Jin Weiqi

Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront, China, by LUO Studio

Architecture office LUO Studio bolted hundreds of wooden elements together to form Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront in Jiangmen, China.

The pedestrian crossing's design pays tribute to traditional construction techniques used in rural villages in southern China where the material is in plentiful supply.

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Aerial view of crossing over Yuandang Lake
Photo is by Zhu Runzi

Bridge, China, by Brearley Architects + Urbanists

Designated areas for play, rest and planting feature along this bridge that connects two areas of wetland across Shanghai's Yuandang Lake.

Brearley Architects + Urbanists designed the snaking structure, which includes a "pavilion playground" in the form of a large canopy of hammered metal supported by thin steel columns, as well as a sculptural tunnel of white perforated metal sheets.

Find out more about this bridge ›

Zaha Hadid bridge
Photo is by Naaro

Striatus, Italy, by Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich

Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich used 3D printing to create a concrete footbridge in Venice that is freestanding and assembled without mortar.

Called Striatus, the 16-metre-long crossing is an unreinforced arched bridge that was constructed from 53 hollow blocks, each printed from 500 layers of printed concrete.

Find out more about Striatus ›

Park Union Bridge
Photo is by Jason O'Rear

Park Union Bridge, USA, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Diller Scofidio + Renfro connected the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs with a 250-foot-long crossing called Park Union Bridge, which spans an active railyard.

Two interlocking loops of steel arch over the bridge and form a window that frames views of the surrounding landscape.

Find out more about Park Union Bridge ›