London’s Innovative (Yet Simple) Moving Footbridge

Published October 9, 2014
Updated January 31, 2018
Published October 9, 2014
Updated January 31, 2018
Moving Footbridge in London

Source: designboom

In its resting position, the Merchant Square footbridge is quite ordinary—a silver steel bridge upon which pedestrians can cross the Grand Union Canal. Yet in motion, the bridge transforms into something else entirely: the steel walkway opens accordion-style, morphing into a five-pronged sculpture that spreads open as easily as butter. Check out the moving footbridge in this incredible GIF:

Source: urdesignmg

Source: urdesignmg

The Merchant Square footbridge is one of various structural projects meant to reinvision the Paddington, London locale. Other projects include a water maze and garden space. When down, the bridge provides a walkway that’s three meters wide.

When extended, the moving footbridge allows boats to pass through the 20-meter wide canal. Here’s a quick video of the bridge up close and in motion:

London Footbridge

Source: Domus

Merchant Square Moving Footbridge

Source: Domus

Inspired by the movement of a Japanese hand fan, this simple moving footbridge was created by Knight Architects (a design team that focuses on bridges) and the structural engineers at AKT II.

Five expertly installed steel beams comprise the bridge’s main structure, though hydraulic jacks and counterweights are both needed to move the beams. Knight Architects—a group of designers who believe that good design must improve lives, add value and be lasting—won the rights to design the bridge following a competition in 2012.

Aerial View of London Footbridge

Source: Arch Daily

Designs from London Footbridge

Source: wordlessTech

Design Concepts from Knight Architects

Source: wordlessTech

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.
Close Pop-in
Like All That's Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds