Pedestrian Bridge at Arad bay
The bridge is a fusion of two worlds – the traditional past and the modern present. Located in Muharraq, the second largest island in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and a seafaring historical town enriched with local culture and tradition; the bridge had to also blend with the modern world especially since it was within close proximity to the Bahrain international Airport. The most relevant symbolization of the two worlds was to design the bridge to reflect the character of a traditional wooden fishing boat, locally known as a “Dhow` and a modern aircraft / airport, uniquely entwining the two different worlds of transportation. As the design were to reflect two different worlds, it was conceived to make the bridge have two distinct elevations as well from both the sides, which has led to the curved plan and the unique sectional profile of the deck level. The bridge connects an adjacent neighbourhood across a highway to a purpose built 3km long walkway around a bay which also includes a recreational park / garden. Access to the bridge is by large concrete ramps anchored to an inclined column reminiscent to the bow of a ship. It also has panoramic elevators to reach the overpass level, within the RCC support core structures at either ends. Once on the deck level, the curved timber ribs on one side resemble the hull of a large traditional wooden ship at the same time, giving a sense of dynamism with a feel of an aerobridge. These wooden ribs curve overhead and terminate at the opposite side to inclined timber columns once again resembling the wooden bow of the traditional “dhows`. The entire bridge is encased with stainless steel “wire cloth` giving added security (a measure we adopted for client’s requirement to stop the recent spate of suicides from atop bridges), without compromising on the panoramic open view from the floor till the roof. The wooden decking on the floor and the PVC tensile fabric for the roof also adds to the blend of the two worlds. A combination of various materials were used to bring about this concept, but the basic spanning structure is precast RCC beams, with curved glulam timber members working as the supporting structure for the fabric roof and the wire cloth façade.


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