LUGNER BRIDGE, Pedestrian Bridge

Foto: Rupert Steiner

LUGNER BRIDGE
Pedestrian Bridge, Vienna
Building Completion Sep. 2005

The presented object is may be the world–wide first fully glazed suspended bridge. The bridge takes the pedestrians, coming from the historical Otto Wagner metro station up along an escalator to a horizontal platform 8,5 meters over the most frequented traffic stream in Vienna, the `Gürtel`-boulevard. From there one can reach the entertainment and shopping centre Lugner City. Through series of interconnected buildings this multifunctional complex forms a strong pedestrian axis, which reaches up to the nearby City Event Hall and represents a much frequented urban connection. Being the first entering element of this axis the bridge plays the role of a landmark for that big complex. We decided to make it dynamic, light and attractive, like a funny flying object, which hovers over the pulsing city. It hangs on the building with two cables. The escalator is not parallel to the street and in this way dynamically shows the direction of the pedestrian flow to the horizontal trapezium – like platform, where is left place for a café with panorama view along the boulevard up to the hills, surrounding Vienna. Many Viennese and tourists are coming to sit in the café–terrace for to admire the large view.

A peculiarity of the bridge is its refined relation between construction, solid geometry and skin. The regular subdivided surface is folded over the non parallel sides of the solid. So arise in interior an individual impression of the space with changed perspective. The contrapuntal lodgement of the layers of the geometrical systems has a special attraction, which the visitor feels even than, when he did not consciously perceive it.

The main construction is in steel girders, which are in big dimensions to avoid problems of vibrations. The sub – construction, supported the glazing is from massive steel beams with rectangular cross section. For the glass envelope is used simple principle of folding a regularly grated surface. The surface is divided in right-angled elements and then, like Japanese Origami, folded so that it coats all sides of the bridge. The lines of the raster represent the supporting construction for the glazing. Since most of the sides are not parallel, the partitioning of all fronts gets a different direction. Thus an unforeseeably alive geometry of the surfaces of the entire envelope is achieved. In such way the optical impression of stability is decreased and the bridge gets largeness, ease and aliveness. Thus the object developed more than planned, it represents our view for `Design as Process´.

The glass panels are connected to the supporting steel grid with hidden mechanical fixing, integrated in the spacer. This innovative fixing system allows typical appearance of a complete glass facade. Another innovation for Austria is the frameless use of such big formats of insulating laminated glass (2x5m triple–glazing).The blue night illumination brings attraction into a previously monotonous part of the boulevard. Now the glass wrap of the bridge is interacting with the city, mirroring the lights of the passing cars and shining with its own lights over the urban environment.