Footbridge Award 2011 technics category
Situated in La Defense, closed to the Grand Arche, the 90-metre-long design of the footbridge Valmy achieves lightness and transparency through the balance of forces, with intentional display of tension and compression in each element. The bridge’s soft and organic structure minimizes its elements and contrasts with the stark abstractions of the towering skyscrapers surrounding it.
Following the curved façade an financial office building, the bridge is positioned with distance to allow natural light into both, the offices and the cafeteria. Constructed with welded steel sheeting, the bridge’s supportive structure takes shape as a box girder. The bridge features unique supports referred to as “vertebrae”, placed 10 meters apart and connected by tension rods. The “vertebrae” serve a dual purpose of providing both visual rhythm and structural support.
A tension band secured under the bridge deck and connected to the “vertebrae” mitigates torsional forces. Additionally, the glass railings on the exterior serve as windbreaks and incorporate screen-printing up to a height of 1 meter.
Lighting is integrated into the bridge deck to enhance the rhythm of the supports and improve the bridge’s visibility at night.
The curved shape resembles a dinosaur’s tail and provides a harmonious connection between the La Défense business district and the tower next to the bridge.
Lead Architect: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Engineers : Sbp
Construction : Viry Sa
Electrical consultant: Meurant