Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Pedestrian footbridge in Evry, France by DVVD
December 2nd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: DVVD
Due to the separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, bridges are particularly significant landscapes in public space in Evry. One key requirement quickly emerged: the need to prevent objects being thrown onto vehicles beneath the footbridge. At the same time as offering better user safety, we also wanted the bridge to be transparent and fun. We combined these architectural intentions and technical considerations to create a steel structure forming a volume which encompasses pedestrians.
At the same time, we were careful not to create any sense of being caged in. The volume created allows vandal protection to be incorporated on the sides and lighting at the top. The load-bearing structure consists of an array of round tubes echoing the rotation of DNA across the entire span of the footbridge. Each tube makes a quarter turn per section, successively becoming part of the load-bearing structure beneath the decking, the load-bearing structure beneath the anti-vandal mesh on the sides, and an aesthetic element integrating the lights above the pedestrians.
The DVVD architecture, design and engineering agency was founded in 2005. Founder and director Daniel Vaniche is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées engineering schools and a DPLG registered architect. He has overseen major projects and been involved in design and study work including bridges, cinemas, homes, factories, offices, stadiums and swimming pools for Mimram, Chémétov, Huidobro, Dusapin, Leclerc, Cattani, Fainsilber, Chémétoff, Clément and Geoffroy-Dechaume.
His experience both as an architect and an engineer convinced him that bringing these two skills together within a single structure made sense. This is a rare combination in France, where architecture and engineering still tend to be quite separate practices. Vincent Dominguez, co-founder of DVVD, and Bertrand Potel, managing partner of DVVD, have contributed their experience in engineering, architecture and design right from the earliest days, not only regarding design itself but also in terms of expertise, methods and worksite techniques.
Francisco Valiente, a former partner at DVVD France, is now a partner in the development of DVVD Spain, present in Barcelona and Valencia. DVVD has constantly expanded over the years and now employs over 20 people in Paris, Barcelona and Algiers. The agency acts as an architect, partner architect, engineering or design firm for project design, structural engineering and the design of facades, envelopes and complex forms, as well as to provide worksite oversight.
Having architects and engineers present within the same organisation is a major asset, facilitating and enriching the interplay between sketch plans and technical feasibility and between concepts and reallife limitations. This dialogue makes it possible to design and develop structures which are both inventive and meticulously executed, with form, function, feasibility, technical considerations, environmental quality and costs brought together to produce a wellrounded project.
Our recent portfolio offers numerous examples of what we do best – working on a daily basis on programmes of every kind, taking up challenges alongside highly reputable partners. We have worked on towers, bridges, stadiums, events venues, cultural facilities, offices and sports facilities – in our capacity as architects or as engineering partners with names such as Nouvel, MVRDV, Béchu, Perrot, Portzamparc, Stark, Michelin, Maupin, Poitevin, Raynaud, Gigon&Guyer, AUC, Arte Charpentier, Sheehan, Girardet – in France and elsewhere (Algiers, Moscow, Oran, Monaco, Toledo, Shanghai, Rome, Pristina, Baghdad, etc.). Projects like these also demonstrate our ability to innovate to fulfil demanding environmental, technical and budgetary criteria.
DVVD was shortlisted for the Equerre d’Argent 2007-2008 architectural award and won the Paris Metropolis General Public Award for Contemporary Architecture (2005-2010) in the Public Spaces category.