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London 2012 - Central Park Bridge

Recycling with pop art appeal: the new Central Park Bridge on the Olympic grounds was extended by a temporary carpet made of recycled running shoes for the duration of the Games. The 'confetti bridge' designed by heneghan peng architects was especially praised for also offering a great post-Olympia solution.

Architects: heneghan peng architects, Dublin 
Structural engineers: Adams Kara Taylor Engineers, London
Location: Olympic Park, Stratford, GB–E15 2HJ London

Central Park Bridge

Photograph: LOCOG

The new Central Park Bridge is located in the centre of the Olympic Park landscape. It spans the River Lea between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre and forms an interface between the northern and southern areas of the Park. The historical Carpenters Lock is also located in this section of the river: the rare radial gates of this unique 1930s building are a reminder of the industrial past of the site.

Central Park Bridge

Onle the "Z" remains after the Games. Photograph: LOCOG

Central Park Bridge is made up of two parallel pedestrian access bridges diagonally linked by a narrow 'blade-like' walkway. The resulting Z-shape was clad with stainless steel and extended by an additional element for the duration of the Olympic Games: the area between the bridges was 'infilled' with a multi-coloured surface of recycled running shoes. Huge numbers of visitors can be accommodated by the 58-metre wide bridge during the Games. The confetti carpet will be removed afterwards, leaving two narrower bridges spanning the River Lea.

Central Park Bridge

The bridge during......

Central Park Bridge

......and after the Games. Photographs: heneghan peng architects

The new connection between Olympia Park and the riverside path includes the lock area and honours it as a historical element. In order to create an attractive recreational space at the level of the river bank and Carpenters Lock, the underside of the bridge was clad with mirror-finished stainless steel. The shiny surface is designed to reflect the sunlight off the water and brighten up the surrounding area.

Central Park Bridge

The post-Olympic period: the permanent bridge zigzags around the old lock area. Model photograph: heneghan peng architects

Central Park Bridge

Diagram: heneghan peng architects

Central Park Bridge

Diagram: heneghan peng architects

Central Park Bridge

Diagram: heneghan peng architects

Central Park Bridge

A total of 125 tonnes of steel were used to build the Central Park Bridge. Photograph: LOCOG

Central Park Bridge

Stainless steel cladding brightens up the lock area. Photograph: Hufton+Crow

Central Park Bridge

Photograph: LOCOG

Central Park Bridge

Photograph: Hufton+Crow

Central Park Bridge

Photograph: LOCOG

Central Park Bridge

Photograph: LOCOG

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