Art & Architecture + [McDowell+Benedetti Architects]

Hull, Regno Unito: Scale Lane Bridge by Mcdowell+Benedetti Architects
Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

An innovative swing bridge over the River Hull has opened to the public, offering pedestrians the unique experience of riding on the bridge as it opens and closes to river traffic, a world’s first.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

The black steel bridge has a distinctive robust character and curving form, making it a memorable landmark that is unique to Hull and its industrial and maritime heritage.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

The winning entry in an international 3-stage design competition held in 2005, the bridge has been built to the original concept by the competition team, architects McDowell+Benedetti, structural engineers Alan Baxter Associates, and main contractor and M&E engineers Qualter Hall. Located in Kingston upon Hull, east of Hull city centre, the bridge connects Hull’s Old Town Conservation Area to the undeveloped industrial landscape of the east bank.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

The bridge provides a walkable route connecting the Museums Quarter on the west bank to Hull’s major attraction the Deep. the bridge’s sweeping form creates two generous pedestrian routes, one gently sloping and a shorter stepped walkway.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

The roof of the drum provides an upper viewing deck with a seamless steel balustrade, which gives the feeling of being on board a docked ocean liner. the central structural spine of the bridge includes seating areas, creating a variety of places for people to pause on route to relax and enjoy the riverscape views.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

The spine rises into a back-lit rooflight which provides a marker at night. the bridge rotates using an electrical drive mechanism to open the route to river traffic when required.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

When activated the mechanical movement of the bridge is sufficiently slow to allow passengers to safely step onto the bridge from the west bank whilst it is rotating. Artist Nayan Kulkarni has created a public artwork on the bridge, a sonic landscape in which to enjoy the riverscape.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

When the bridge opening is activated a new sequence of rhythmic bells is triggered which increases in urgency and combines with a pulsing light developed by lighting consultants Sutton Vane Associates. This has a practical purpose in alerting pedestrians to the imminent opening rotation and it heightens the drama of the ‘ride’.

Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects
Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects
Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects
Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects
Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects
Scale Lane Bridge by McDowell Benedetti Architects

Location: Hull, England Architect: McDowell+Benedetti Architects Engineering: Alan Baxter Associate Budget: £7 million Year: 2013 Client: Yorkshire Forward, Hull Forward, Homes and Communities Agency, Hull City Council Photography: Timothy Soar

4.4/10 (598)