Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

Santiago Calatrava
Date Built
Crossing the River Liffey in the Dockland area of Dublin
The Samuel Beckett Bridge spans the River Liffey in the redeveloped Docklands district of Dublin.  The bridge was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and constructed in Holland by Graham Hollandia Joint Venture.  The completed bridge structure was transported to Dublin from Rotterdam on a barge and then hoisted onto the concrete pier that provides the pivot point about which the bridge rotates.  The 120 metre bridge has a cable-stayed, steel box girder structure and the estimated total cost of its construction and installation was €59.95 million.

Santiago Calatrava's website says that the architect, "sought inspiration from the shape of a harp - a historical and prominent symbol of Ireland.  Envisioning steel cables as the harp's strings, the architect was able to infuse modern elements with traditional significance.  ...  From a functional standpoint, Calatrava wanted to create a structure that would reduce vehicular traffic in the city centre without disturbing maritime passage.  Therefore, the bridge features four lanes for traffic with cycle tracks and pedestrian paths on either side, as well as room for trams (to be implemented in the future)."