Location: Bellinzona, Switzerland
Client: Dipartimento del Territorio – Bellinzona
Date of Completion: 2022
Budget: 4.5 millions €
AZPML: Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, Ivaylo Nachev, Manuel Eijo, Paolo Toldo, Andrea Sanchez, Xiani Wang, Robert Berenguer
Associate Architect: Dario Franchini
Photos: Lorenzo Zandri
Our project aims to respect and enhance the natural beauty of the fluvial context of the Ticino River. Our intention has been not only to minimize the visual impact of the bridge in the natural landscape, but also to create a visual resonance with the meanders and the ripples of the moving water surface of the Ticino River. To capture the dynamic energy unleashed by this beautiful fluvial landscape, the profile of the bridge has been inspired by the organic geometry of the waves created by the forces that sway the natural flow of the river.
Another important aspect that has been considered for the design of the project is that the bridge unfolds over three different contextual conditions. One of the central ideas of our project is that these contextual differences can be utilized to enrich the experience of the pedestrian, and his/her relations with the natural landscape.
The first decision of the project has been the design of a deck that connects the two pre-existing medieval structures (the Torretta tower remains located to the western end of the bridge, and the medieval arcades located towards the Eastern end), while keeping the maximum slope below 6% for a comfortable pedestrian and bicycle access.
The second decision of the project has been the design of the structural supports. These have been positioned aiming to minimize the transfer of loads to the preexisting structures.The third decision of the project has been the design of the structural geometry of the bridge which reacts to the different experiential requirements. The structure is located below the deck when an intensification of the pedestrian experience and an enhancement in the dialogue with the surrounding context is desired. On the other hand, the structure is located on top of the deck when the bridge spans over a more aggressive environment, and the safeguarding and protection of the pedestrians is sought.
Therefore, the design of the bridge is defined according to the structural behavior as well as the experience of the pedestrians, alternating along its trajectory between an integrative and protective structural section.