A Brushstroke Connects: Footbridge in Paris
Architekt: DVVD architecture, design and engineering agency
Standort: F–75019 Paris
A balcony with a view over the city – this is how the architects see the Claude Bernard footbridge. It is easy to imagine what a balcony might have in common with the bridge. Both are always attractive – unusual spaces in their surroundings. Both invite people to spend a bit of time there. Classically, an overpass comes to life with the movement that takes place upon it and is erected principally as a viaduct. However, the DVVD studio has succeeded in giving the footbridge other special characteristics. Right in the middle of the bridge, just six metres above the cars racing along the ring road, the bridge invites pedestrians to stay a while. It is at this point that the wood casings are at their greatest height and density. This provides shelter from noise, speed and air pollution; passers-by can stroll undisturbed.
It is not only the wooden casing, made of oak joists, that is responsible for the special atmosphere of the footbridge, which leads in a dynamic sweep over the Boulevard Périphérique. Those who wish to cross the bridge have the choice to float upwards via either the low steps – also of oak – or the ramp. This makes its way up through lush greenery planted primarily as a buffer between the freeway and the adjacent urban area. Now it provides a softer entryway to the unexpectedly warm bridge.
To understand the attraction of this curvy, wood-clad bridge, just take a look at the surrounding area. The bridge connects the 19th arrondissement with the outer region of Seine-Saint-Denis. The view here is dominated by new buildings, many of mineral materials. Industrial buildings stand among public structures; a new residential zone is being created as well. It is this contrast that makes the footbridge such a success. Users value it not only for its functionality, but as a landmark and a symbol of connection to the suburbs.