The Corporation Street Footbridge, Manchester, UK

Hodder Associates and Ove Arup
Date Built
Corporation Street
This tubular, twisted glass and steel footbridge links the building housing Marks and Spencer and Selfridges to the Arndale Centre across Corporation Street. The architect says of it that, "The footbridge takes the form of a hyperbolic paraboloid of revolution and appears as a lightweight glazed membrane stretched across the street. Its transparency is heightened by the arch which permits uninterrupted aspects symmetry optically redresses the change in level of the boardwalk which threads through from side to side. ....

... Outside the membrane are 18 straight 25 mm tension rods and 110 mm circular hollow section compression members which spiral in an alternating clockwise and anti-clockwise direction.  Truncated conical collars anchor the structure to buildings either end and natural ventilate the bridge."

The bridge received a number of awards including, RIBA Award 2000, Structural Steel Award 2000, American Institute of Architects Award 2000


Nearby you can see a red pillar box which is an important part of the story of the bridge.  A much plainer rectangular bridge used to cross the street at this point.  You can see it in the distance in the image below.

On June 16th, 1996, the IRA parked a van beneath the bridge beside the red pillar box and at 11:17 a.m. the bomb inside the van went off causing devastating damage to the buildings around it.

Ironically, the only survivor on Corporation Street that day was the pillar box and it stands today as a reminder of the explosion.  A brass plaque has been added to it to commemorate the event.

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