It has been announced in Gdansk that London based Studio Bednarski as architects working with Schlaich Bergermann Partner as bridge engineers, have won an invited competition involving an opening bridge, to which seven design teams were admitted. The site is located next to Europe’s oldest and largest surviving port crane, completed in 1444.
The bridge is a part of development planning gain and will provide essential access to the Island, one of the very few ruin settings left from the time of WW2 in Europe. The bridge will link the new development with the old town creating not only a new access route but also a destination in itself. The main design objective was the creation of a functional work of art, which emerges as a water based sculpture when the bridge deck is opened for navigation and united with the island, that protects the deck from ship impact.
Cezary Bednarski commented: “The massive, eminently logical and functional form of the Gdansk port crane facilitated vertical movement and speaks of the times when it was built. Our horizontally revolving bridge takes up this dialogue as a delicate horizontal counterpoint to the crane’s mass and verticality.
Our aim was to align the design of the new bridge with the dynamics of the city, endowing it with unequivocal and explicit identity, all born exclusively of its functionality and structure, without any decorations. Drawing from the Baltic traditions we sought to optimise functionality not letting the bridge become a manifestation of an extravagant structural form.”
The main deck of the bridge, and the island, were conceived as abstract objects but they are open to symbolic interpretations, ranging from that of a bird with spread wings ( as a symbol of the Holy Ghost as a reference to the bridge name linked to a street on the axis of which it is located ) to that of a tomb for the crew of a Polish WW2 submarine lost in action and never found. Source by Studio Bednarski.