River Douglas Bridge

Lancaster, England



Located on a bend in the river, this bridge has been designed to embrace its surroundings. Conceived as two distinct paths meeting at the center of the river, the bridge engages a visitor in a dynamic journey of movement and views. Upon arrival, a grand wood foyer punctuated with openings that frame the sky and site greets the visitor. As the visitor moves past the foyer, the enclosure gives way to a series of timber frames spaced just over a half of a meter apart. These frames create rhythmic shadows that shift throughout the day engaging the visitor with the movement of the sun. At the apex of the bridge, the timber frames are omitted exposing the steel superstructure and offering an unobstructed view up and down the river. At this moment, the visitor has the option to continue down the bridge to the other side or to enter two suspended pavilions. Like the entry foyers, these pavilions are constructed of permeable wood structures that frame the landscape; the north pavilion frames the river while the south pavilion frames the marshes. The materials of this proposal have been chosen for their durability and ability to weather over time. It is anticipated that the wood elements and the existing stone embankments will age gracefully creating a patina that will enhance the appearance of the bridge and merge into the landscape. As the wood and stone elements age, the steel truss will exist as a durable marker of the structure.

Project Team: Jason R. Chandler, A.I.A., Chad Constantine, Edgar Gonzalez, Jonathan Azar

Images/Models: Chandler and Associates