Competition: AL_A awarded second place for bridge across the Helsinki archipelagoPosted by ala | August 20 2014
AL_A were awarded second place in the City of Helsinki’s international shortlisted design competition for the new 1.8km Kruunusillat Bridge for trams, pedestrians and cyclists.
Kruunusillat is a bridge that can realise abstract ideas with simplicity, crossing the Helsinki archipelago of an interlaced landscape of water and city, where natural setting and manmade layers coalesce, and boundaries are blurred. Preserving the flow of landscape, and without the interruption of verticality, we envision the bridge as a thread of light traced in the water; a line drawn just above the water and below the horizon.
Reducing infrastructure to the immediacy and intuition of a sketch, the bridge curves between three landfalls, with threads for trams, cyclists and pedestrians, each woven by their context, providing paths that are sheltered from the worst of the elements and exposed to the beauty of the vista. One strand detaches from the mainline to grace the shoreline of Korkesaari and Palosaari.
Working with the contours of the seabed, the bridge makes visible the submerged topography. As the traveller curves with the bridge, their gaze is directed both outwards and towards their destination, tracing the sinuous line ahead. Speeding up and slowing down, each of the strands changes intensity and flow, as the thickness of the line of a drawn sketch changes with the pencil’s pressure.