Angers is the capital of the Department Maine-et-Loire in western France. The city, with a population of 153,000, is located approximately 100 km northeast of Nantes and 300 km from Paris.
Angers Saint-Laud station is a significant transportation hub in the city center. A high-speed train to Paris stops there 13 times a day, covering the distance in 1.45 hours. About 40 trains depart for Nantes daily. In the station area, the railway tracks span about 70 meters wide, cutting a deep corridor into the city. The old pedestrian bridge made of reinforced concrete, which crossed directly over the tracks, was significantly damaged.
The new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists is characterized by a soft and wide arch spanning the entire 70-meter width, carved into the city’s topography over the railway tracks.
Its substructure consists of a hollow box and steel brackets, which have integrated benches with wooden seats on the western side of the arch. It is elegant, light, and connects the vast expanses. The wooden porticos give a strong identity to the bridge. They underline the crossing and engage in dialogue with the city. They pace the walk over.
Due to their varying distances, slightly different sections, and the bridge’s arched layout, they constantly offer new perspectives on the tracks and arriving and departing trains. They converge towards the bridge’s center, creating a sheltered atmosphere that encourages pauses, while the more significant distances at the beginning and end of the bridge increasingly broaden the view of the city.
The continuous opening of the frames increases the bridge’s significance over the tracks.
It’s a unique structure that becomes a landmark with its gently curved path where people enjoy stopping, lingering, chatting, watching trains, arriving, or departing.
Lead Architect: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Aerodynamic studies: Boas