Peter Elliot: Barwon Heads is a picturesque coastal town located at the mouth of the Barwon River on the Bellarine Peninsula. Its much loved Barwon Heads Bridge has been reconstructed with a replacement timber bridge along with a new contemporary pedestrian and cycling bridge known as the William Buckley Bridge. The new William Buckley Bridge is clearly differentiated from the road bridge as a contemporary structure. The design intent was to construct a pair of parallel causeway bridges as companion structures, parallel for their full length with the same underside clearance for boating.

The bridge expresses the beautiful tactile and aesthetic qualities of timber in an extraordinary coastal setting. The bridge’s primary structure is concrete which is fully clad in timber with a boat hull-like cross section. The underside of the bridge has a complex warping geometry where the timber battens rake and interlock to create visual interest and shadowing detail.

In addition, a new entry plaza has been created to integrate the bridges with the Barwon Heads township and the Barwon River foreshore. A large timber decked landing becomes the point of orientation prior to crossing the estuary or arriving at the edge of town.

Project Title: William Buckley Bridge
Project Address: Barwon River, Barwon Heads VIC 3227
Client: VicRoads
Architect: Peter Elliot Architecture + Urban Design
Principal Architect: Peter Elliott
Project Architect: Wil Goodsir
Project Team: Sean van der Velden, Jonathon Wong
Structural Engineer: ARUP
Services & Lighting: ARUP
Landscape Architect: VicRoads Technical Consulting
Timber Auditor QA Pty Ltd

Project Value: $40 million (includes Road Bridge)
Designed: February 2009
Completion Date: July 2011
Head Contractor: MacDow (McConnell Dowell Aust Pty Ltd)

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