AA_L: Spencer Dock Bridge

The Spencer Dock Bridge is the principal structure along the LUAS Red Line Docklands C1 extension to the Point Depot and has provided the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority with an opportunity to create a landmark structure along the extended route. The Spencer Dock Bridge will carry LUAS across the Royal Canal

and along Mayor Street.

The conceptual design is based on the geometry of the Manta Ray fish with asymmetric pectoral fins (wings) extending out from the body of the bridge deck and reaching down towards the water level in the Royal Canal. via ARUP

From the Architect:

The 40 metre span bridge with its fluid lines and undulating concrete surface will take trams, traffic and pedestrians across the Royal Canal. The edges of the deck peel down to reveal a space for pedestrians to pause and take in views of the dock and Linear Park which is currently under construction.

The underside of the bridge merges with the piers in a single movement with joint lines in the concrete designed to accentuate the geometry of the form. The finish of the concrete provides high visibility against the dark water of the canal and at night the structure will be vibrantly lit from below giving the bridge a significant presence.

As the proportions of the bridge are unusual we took this as an opportunity to consider the bridge as a piece of landscape design. The soft geometry and asymmetry of the design creates a piece of infrastructure that resolves the tension between form and function.

The bridge is the centrepiece of the new extension to the light rail line in Dublin city centre and part of a larger regeneration project for the inner city and former docks.

Constructed using a combination of white insitu and precast reinforced concrete, all formwork is milled directly from 3D parametric models. This innovative use of CNC cut polystyrene is to date the largest application of the material to be used in this way.

Commissioned as Future Systems, the bridge is one of the first major projects completed under the name of Amanda Levete Architects.

The bridge will be fully operational in 2010 to coincide with completion of the Linear Park.

Images + text via Amanda Levete Architects.
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