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Flexible Bridge in Geneva; INGENI with MID Architekten; HAU; Photo: © Adrien Barakat

Refined Scissoring: Flexible Bridge in Geneva

The Jet d’Eau fountain is one of Geneva’s best-known attractions. However, until recently it was connected to the lakeshore only by a narrow pier built at the end of the 19th century. Because of this, in 2013 an association to promote mobility for handicapped people initiated a project for a more attractive, barrier-free visitor access.

The new construction, which is four metres wide and runs parallel to the old stone path, is remarkable: its design responds to controversial requirements. The new structure must guarantee the passability of small boats going to and from the Geneva yacht marina. The engineers and architects have created an innovative, unique bridge mechanism that clears all obstacles out of the way, for the problem with most moveable bridges is that they enable only one mode of traffic at one time: either foot traffic or river traffic. On the bridge in Geneva, the middle part is formed as a moveable jetty. In its resting position, wheelchair users and pedestrians alike can cross the bridge. In its raised position, boats can pass under the bridge and pedestrians can cross it. To achieve this, the engineers developed a mechanism with stainless-steel scissor elements produced using digital cutting techniques. 

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