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Webb Bridge
by Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with artist Robert Owen

            

IN THE ARCHITECTS WORDS

A competition-winning design for a new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Yarra river, as part of a public art project, in Melbourne's Docklands area. The brief called for the re-use of the remaining sections of the Webb Dock Rail Bridge, in order to link the Docklands on the north-side to the new residential developments on the south-side. The bridge comprises two distinct sections: the 145m long existing structure and a new curved 80m long ramped link. The ramp takes up level changes and creates a point of arrival at the south bank. Both are joined seamlessly, with an emphasis on volume and containment within the curved and sinuous form. There are two main components to the bridge: the deck/belly of pigmented concrete screed on steel box beams and the containing baskets or ribs of circular and ovoid hoops which encircle the bridge deck. The hoops vary in width from 5 8.7m and in height from 4 8.9m high. They are constructed from steel sections 15 x 150mm, occurring at varying centres along the bridge. These are interconnected by a series of steel straps 150mm wide. The steelwork was made in
 
 

prefabricated sections and then assembled on a barge that was floated in at high tide. At the northern bank it starts as a series of plain hoops that grow further apart towards the middle of the span. As you approach the south bank, the hoops regain their intensity and evolve into a filigree cocoon. This gradation of pattern was intended to create a life, a moment in time. The existing remnant Webb Dock Rail Bridge and its new connection to the south bank, become a unified sculptural form. The resulting structure suggests a new connection, or a knot, between the old and new, past and future. From afar, it is perceived as an object that becomes, in turn, a place of action and transition as one uses it. The new Webb Bridge allows users to appreciate the surrounding views and activities along the river and can be used as a destination in its own right, as well as a meeting point, or simply, a place of leisurely contemplation. As an object, it appears as a delineated structure, a sensuous volume, light and linear. Space is seen as atmospheric, dynamic and transitional.
 
DETAILS

Location
Docklands, VIC
Architect
Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with artist Robert Owen
Contact address:
Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with artist Robert Owen
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.Project Team
Project manager: Mirvac/Docklands Authority
Developer: Mirvac/Docklands Authority
Structural consultant: Arup
Civil consultant: Arup
Electrical consultant: Arup
Lighting consultant: Arup
Quantity consultant: Donald Cant Watts Corke Pty Ltd
Builder: Mirvac
Builder: Geelong Fabrications Pty Ltd (Principal Subcontractor)
Photographer: Mr John Gollings, Gollings Photography
Photographer: Ms Shannon McGrath
Entered
2005


Photographs by Ms Shannon McGrath, text by Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with artist Robert Owen

Link directly to this award entry: http://dynamic.architecture.com.au/awards_search?option=showaward&entryno=20053006

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