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The Pedro e Inês bridge is a footbridge designed by architect Cecil Balmond in collaboration with Portuguese engineer Adão da Fonseca. Opened in 2007 in the town of Coimbra in Portugal the Pedro e Inês bridge connects the two shores of the Mondego River. The 600 ft structure marks the city’s first footbridge and has become locally known as the “bridge that doesn’t meet.”1
‘The form pushes the limits of structural dynamics. Partly inspired by skipping stones, the design is created from two cantilevered walkways, joining in the middle to form a viewing platform. Each walkway is responsible for supporting the other – the two halves are displaced, giving the visual effect of a bridge that does not meet. The bridge, “appears at first glimpse to be impossible,” so states Wallpaper magazine. The balustrade is made from a clear, fractal pattern crafted in coloured blue, pink, green and yellow glass. The bridge was done with Portuguese based civil engineer, António Adão da Fonseca’. Source: ifiress2015.org2

According to the guardian, ‘its structure is revolutionary, yet rather than showy; it is effortlessly elegant. It is also the stuff of engineering sorcery.’5

“I’ve looked at many pedestrian bridges,” says Balmond, “and what I’ve noticed is that people often rush across them. It’s as if the design of the bridges themselves makes people feel they have to hurry, that they have a very linear journey and the sole point of the bridge is to get from one side to the other. But there is another point: that of dawdling and looking and dreaming. We’ve designed the bridge so that it’s something of an adventure, a way across a river that doesn’t insist on haste.” Source:  the guardian3


IFireSS 2015. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ifiress2015.org/touristic-program

Jonathan Glancey lingers on a work of engineering sorcery | Art and design | The Guardian. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2006/dec/11/architecture.portugal