A Ramboll Project


Competition-winning design for a pedestrian and cycle bridge spanning between the historic quay walls that encircle the old town of Göteborg. The age and fragile condition of these quay walls limited their capacity to take the weight of any new structure. Site conditions were further complicated by the presence of high-power cables and other essential services immediately beneath one of the proposed bridge landing points. Addressing these constraints and taking inspiration from the city’s rich automotive and ship-building heritage, the proposal was for an ultra-lightweight Fibre-Reinforced-Polymer (FRP) bridge, the first of its kind in Sweden.

At less than ¼ the weight of an equivalent structure in steel, the FRP structure requires reduced foundations, imposes minimal loading on the fragile historic walls, and will greatly ease buildability. The use of advanced composites allows this to be achieved with a graceful, organic monocoque form that appears to float above the waterline.

The bridge's curved forms are a direct expression of the unique site conditions, the nature of the material, and the structural forces at play. The sweeping curvilinear form is anchored on one side of the canal, swoops to a support within the canal itself and cantilevers to the opposite bank imposing practically no load on it. Only by using advanced composites could this be achieved, giving the bridge its graceful, organic monocoque form which appears to float above the waterline.

“This is a milestone in Swedish bridge construction. Designing bridges in FRP is very beneficial in several aspects. It requires less effort to construct because the material is much lighter than traditional building materials, which reduces the construction implications. It is also a very strong and adaptable material that can be transformed into completely new forms“
Christer Carlsson, Ramböll Project Manager

Göteborg, Sweden

Göteborg Municipality
Lead Consultant

Design Stages
2013 - present
Concept to Tender

Kaponjarbrion is an ultra-lightweight Fibre-Reinforced-Polymer (FRP) bridge, the first of its kind in Sweden

Kaponjarbron Bridge

Complex modelling and structural analysis determined the bridge's final optimum form

the structure is designed to impose no adverse loads onto the fragile historic quay wall