The architecture and integration of structure and environment works perfectly for this footbridge and showcases what can be achieved when value is placed on building structures that are highly functional and in sync with the environment.
Auckland Council invited Warren and Mahoney to provide conceptual ideas for a replacement pedestrian bridge connecting Tamaki Drive to Parnell baths and the adjoining headland of Pt. Resolution/Taurarua. The original bridge, built in the 1930s suffered severe structural fatigue and with the electrification of Auckland’s rail network, the bridge needed to be raised.
Key design factors at play were the harbour location and the visual language of the nearby Parnell Baths with its mosaic mural depicting abstract swimmers. The result is a new contemporary bridge conceived as a series of three sculpted arches, in turn supporting and cradling a pedestrian deck. Each arch was designed as a three dimensional sculptural element - an exoskeleton to support the pedestrian deck.
The deck consists of a simple shaped concrete beam - hull-like in shape alluding to the yachts and the harbour beyond. A glass balustrade above the deck has a white interlayer or frit applied at its base to provide continuity to the concrete deck. The deck is cantilevered out over the harbour to provide a new viewing platform and enhance the functionality of the simple bridge.
Local artist Henriata Nicholas designed a custom pattern that speaks of movement and water which was engraved into the concrete beam and the glass balustrade.
For all its geometric complexity and manufacturing intricacy, a simple and elegant design has been created which can be absorbed and appreciated by pedestrians and motorists alike.