A Ramboll Project

Hepworth Gallery Footbridge

The Hepworth is a landmark gallery located on regenerated industrial land in Wakefield to house the work of locally-born sculptor, Barbara Hepworth, and other artists. Serving to deliver an influx of visitors to the gallery’s entrance, two 50m span footbridges provide primary access to the landmark new art gallery in Wakefield. As well as providing a dramatic route over the fast-moving waters of the River Calder, the bridge connects the gallery with car parking and coach passenger drop-off facilities across the river.

Working closely with David Chipperfield Architects to ensure a consistency of design approach, the bridge is an efficient monolithic form formed by two slender painted steel box girders each spanning 50m over the Calder.

The girders act as both containment and primary structure and support a lightweight aluminium deck. Lighting is incorporated into the upper surface of the girders, gently illuminating the deck surface when evening events are held at the gallery.

The bridge springs from a cast-in-place concrete monolithic ramp at its mid-point, its surface laid with granite sets which blend seamlessly with the hard landscaping around the gallery building and complement the materials used for the bridge deck.

The whole structure is efficient, elegant but understated providing a complementary form to the sculptural quality of the gallery itself without challenging it.

Location
Wakefield

Team
Client
Wakefield City Council
Lead Consultant
Ramboll
Gallery Architect
David Chipperfield

Design Stages
2009-2011
Concept to Construction

Awards
RIBA Stirling Prize 2012 - Shortlisted

The bridge's clean lines and monolithic form echo those of the gallery itself