After many years of planning, the Cittadella Bridge in Alessandria, Italy, is finally open to the public. The structure blends a streamlined commute for pedestrians and cyclists with a series of public space elements.
Richard Meier and Partners has completed the firm’s first design for a dual-function pedestrian and vehicular bridge for the city of Alessandria in Italy. After extensive flooding in 1994, debris was caught by the existing Napoleonic Cittadella Bridge — creating an unintentional dam in the river. Richard Meier’s precast-concrete and painted-steel bridge attempts to remedy the situation and reconnect the 18th-century fort, located on one side of the river, with the modern city on the other.
Hufton + Crow’s bridge is 4150 metres of surface area and 185-metre-length. The structure was designed as a public space where individuals can gather or stop to take in the view while facilitating pedestrian and cycle commutes.
The previous crossing was often heavily congested with traffic and provided an unpleasant pedestrian experience. The pedestrian side of the Richard Meier & Partners’ design takes on a similar function to an Italian piazza, acting as an outdoor civic and social space.
The distinct form of the vertical 32.5-metre arch curves south to counteract the weight of the vehicular side, which bows strongly to the north. The weight of the pedestrian portion of the bridge also works within the complex, balancing equation.
“More than 20 years after the initial commission to design a new bridge between the city of Alessandria and the old citadel, I’m extremely pleased to have completed this new modern link between the past and the future of the city,” says Meier. “We hope that this new structure will contribute to the civic life of the local community and to the urban revitalisation around the site, the 18th-century citadel and piazza Gobetti.”
He continues, “As in many of our buildings, this project is a composition of volumes and forms, and at dawn and dusk, and with the change of the seasons light will filter through the structure providing for particularly animated light conditions. We hope the Cittadella Bridge contributes to the life of the city and takes advantage of the site.”
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