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.
Lower Hatea Crossing (Te Matau a Pohe) by Knight Architects
September 8th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Knight Architects
Designed by specialist bridge design consultancy Knight Architects following a competitive tender in 2011, the spectacular NZ$32m Lower Hatea Crossing was officially opened on 27 July 2013.
The 265m tidal river estuary crossing is a key component in the highway network, designed to reduce congestion in the city centre and improve access to Whangarei Heads and the airport. The opening bridge provides a permanent minimum headroom for river users and a 25m wide lifting section to allow vessels taller than 7.5m to transit the bridge.
The opening mechanism is based on a traditional rolling bascule bridge type, with the structural steel deck supports shaped to provide a distinctive elevation which speaks both of its efficient rolling action and also its cultural context – the curved ‘J’ shape is an interpretation of the fish hook motif that is widely used in Maori culture.
The form is designed to be recognisable by day and night, to provide a positive gateway to the town basin area and a structure that speaks strongly of the local character and culture of Whangarei. The bridge has been officially named Te Matau a Pohe – translated as ‘The fishhook of Pohe‘, after the Maori chief who welcomed the first English settlers to Whangarei.
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