Cabot Circus Car Park Footbridge - Bristol, UK

Architect: Wilkinson Eyre
Structural engineer: David Dexter Associates
Date Built
Opened September, 2008
Broadmead, Bristol
This footbridge links the Cabot Circus shopping centre to its car park on the other side of Temple Way.  A document on the Steel website says that, "The Cabot Circus footbridge was initially planned as a continuation of a long sweeping pedestrian boulevard that cuts through the new 2,500 space car park. The use of steel, as a lightweight and malleable material aided the architectural vision and allowed the creation of an organic form, which provides a dynamic counterpoint to the flanking buildings. ...'Without 3D modelling this design wouldn’t have been possible,' sums up Alan Gilbertson, Project Engineer for David Dexter Associates. “The bridge incorporates challenging geometry, everything is on a curve and tilting, and so needed careful detailing. ..."

Not everyone is a fan of the bridge.  In a letter to the Bristol Post in April of 2012 a contributor said that, "This bridge has been designed so that the sides of it lean at strange angles. Every time I cross it, it has a weird effect and makes me dizzy – to the point that I now avoid this route. I thought it was probably just me, but have since heard other people moan about it making them feel dizzy and odd, and then just the other day a friend said that crossing the bridge made her feel dizzy and sick.  Why did someone design a bridge like this? What's wrong with having a bridge with normal, upright sides? It might have looked good on an architect's drawing board, but it's not too nice in reality – and needs to be avoided by anyone prone to dizzy spells or vertigo.  All they've done is build a bridge that would have been better suited to a funhouse!"