Oxigen: The new River Torrens Bridge provides a crucial connection in the urban and recreational cycle network. By virtue of its location in a natural open space setting, the bridge is both surprising and tempting to its users. The form is an expressive through subtle sculpture that captures the moment of ‘crossing’ and the qualities of the immediate landscape. The location, form, structure and the use of material captures the qualities of the surrounding landscape. It offers cyclists and pedestrians a new place above the changing river but, at the same time, it gives them a sense of security. The bridge is located mid-way from the river to the top of the adjacent banks, out of harms way but still with connection to the water.
The river’s murky qualities contrast with the crisp metal qualities of the structure – corten, stainless and galvanised steel. The steel form supported by expressive struts over its curved shape offers a variety of constantly changing perspectives and experiences. The deck of galvanised webforge is in-filled with granulitic rubber softfall to replace traditional timber or precast concrete planks. The combination of these decking materials is innovative and unique.
The introduction of this new activity opens up a section of river not often appreciated or visited. The location is strategic, completing a section of the Adelaide City Parklands Trail and drawing commuters and recreational cyclists into the city. The Botanic Park and Zoo are close destinations. Connecting paths allow pedestrians and cyclists to access and experience the established River Sculpture Walk and Botanic Park. The bridge represents a new confidence in innovative and sustainable contemporary design of public infrastructure in the city. In addition to a new safe crossing, the bridge connects to its context and forms literally a bridge between parklands and citywide activities and networks.
Landscape Architecture: Oxigen
Location: River Torrens, Adelaide, South Australia.
Area: 37 meters in length.
Image credits: Oxigen, Sam Noonan