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.
Merchant Square footbridge in Grand Union Canal, England by Knight Architects
September 8th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Knight Architects
Conceived by bridge specialists Knight Architects and structural engineers AKT II following a limited design competition in 2012, the 3m wide cantilevered Merchant Square footbridge spans 20m across the Grand Union Canal and is raised using hydraulic jacks with an action similar to that of a traditional Japanese hand fan. This creates a kinetic sculpture whose silhouette is both legible and extraordinary and which is well suited to the position on Sunset Terrace next to the canal.
The five fabricated steel beams forming the deck open in sequence, with the first rising to an angle of 80 degrees and the last achieving the required clearance over the canal of 2.5m tall by 5.5m wide at mid channel. Shaped counterweights assist the hydraulic mechanism and reduce the energy required to move the structure. The bridge balustrades are formed from twin rows of inclined stainless steel rods, overlapping to form a robust yet filigree and highly transparent structure. The handrail houses a continuous low energy LED downlight which will provide excellent and uniform functional illumination of the walking surface and the edge, as well as offering an attractive lighting feature.
Merchant Square is a new waterside garden square that will be home to Westminster’s tallest building, 1 Merchant Square. Following in the tradition of garden squares and green spaces that help give London its unique character and make it a great world city, Merchant Square will be a modern London landmark, one that’s easily identifiable even from the plane into Heathrow.
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