Forming a major element in the new urban strategy for the city named “Madrid Rio”, the Arganzuela Footbridge is already called “the jewel of the Rio” by the residents.
Over 250 meters long, the Arganzuela footbridge is located between the historic Toledo bridge and the Praga bridge which leads to the cultural centre of the capital. It links the Arganzuela and Carabanchel neighborhoods.
Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the footbridge consists of two metallic cones. It allows the passage of people from one side of the park to the other while also providing one of a the main entrances to the park below.
The Arganzuela Parc, which hides some of the buried highway’s technical infrastructures, has an irregular topography. Playing with that topography, the two cones join above the curve of a hill, and are offset to create a new entrance point to the park.
The first cone – to the south – spans from the Avenida de Manzaranes, crosses over the river and then joins the top of the hill. Placed offset to the first cone, the second cone – to the north – passes over the other side of the park to reach the Paseo de Yeserias. This positioning creates a platform over the park and the surrounding city, and an exceptional vantage point from which to admire the famous Toledo Bridge.
Each cone rests upon two pillars laid at each end, giving the impression that the footbridge is floating in the air.
Made in steel, the self supporting main structure has two interlocking metal spirals that cross diagonally. A silver ribbon, made of metallic mesh, wraps this structure and protects the users from the sun and the bad weather. “Sewn” like a spiral, this ribbon creates a rhythmic and dynamic line to the Arganzuela Park.
The metallic mesh, a favored material of Perrault, transforms and changes the footbridge depending on the time of the day; alternating between filtering, reflective and opaque. Shaded during the day, the promenade becomes luminous at night, like a lantern. It’s impossible to capture all those visual possibilities in one single glimpse, as the metallic mesh turns the footbridge into a living object.
Located in a strategic point of the city, the footbridge improves the urban connections between the northern and southern neighborhoods of Madrid. By taking advantage of the site’s drawbacks, Perrault creates a new place for gathering, resting and admiring the city.