The Mancunian Way Footbridge

The Mancunian Way Footbridge was designed by the architectural practice of Arca. They say of the projectect that, "The inner city community of Moss Side & Hulme had requested a safe direct link to the city centre throughout the years of regeneration and investment in the district. A permanent pedestrian bridge offered this, and the opportunity to allow the amenity of the new Hulme Park to be reached by city workers." 

As the CUBE Website says the opening of this bridge, "
nails forever the era of the underpass".  The bridge loops elegantly across the Mancunian Way from Melbourne Street on the city side to Jackson Crescent in Hulme, near the Brian Redhead Court university residence complex.

The £1.5 Million bridge was opened to pedestrians on Sunday 28 July, 2002, in time for the Manchester Marathon to pass beneath it.  Arca describe it as follows, "It consists of a 150mlong tubular steel truss, tapering from 4m to 2m over the 50m span.  It is asymmetric in section giving a distinctive and varied appearance from all angles, but that importantly is also open and secure for the users.  The concept proposes a human, tactile solution for the bridge and its setting, through the sensitive use of materials and architectural form. In particular, the bridge plays on the contrast between a muscular steel frame and the gridded timber surfaces it cradles, and which lie next to the people crossing it."

The timber used on the bridge is an ethically sourced Brazilian hardwood called Cumaru.  I agree with the comment on the CUBE website regarding the steelwork.  It says, "I’ve a feeling that all concerned in both design and commission thought they were working on a light-weight and elegant solution. As it has turned out, the steel work resembles an extruded section of North Sea Oil piping. .....

.... The dark grey-painted pipes look as if they ought to be sublet to a utilities company, carrying some gas or liquid from the south to the north of the city. This is not wholly unpleasant, it is just very big and heavy, and it looks as if it has been harder work than anybody anticipated."


- Walk the bridge -