Bridge of Aspiration, Royal Ballet School - London, UK

Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Date Built
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet's "Bridge of Aspiration" twists its way above Floral Street in Covent Garden.  It provides the dancers and staff with a link from the school to the Royal Opera House. The architects say that, "The award-winning design addresses a series of complex contextual issues, and is legible both as a fully integrated component of the buildings it links, and as an independent architectural element."  They describe the twisting bridge as, "A concertina of 23 square portals with glazed intervals (that) are supported from an aluminium spine beam. These rotate in sequence for the skew in alignment, performing a quarter-turn overall along the length of the bridge. The result is an elegant intervention high above the street, which evokes the fluidity and grace of dance."

Aquamark, a professional window cleaning company, won the contract to clean the bridge.  On their website they say that, "The award winning bridge is a feat of engineering – and extremely difficult to clean!   To achieve this they liaised with Westminster Council to close Floral Street on a Sunday and then, "The bridge was cleaned using water-fed poles and a range of hand tools. Water-fed poles can reach up to 73 feet and are fed using advanced pure water technology – reducing the need for detergents. This was a perfect solution for the awkwardly shaped glass bridge, as the use of pure water leaves no residue."

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