Salford Bridge, Poetic Bridge
RIBA Competition (2013)

Bridges promote a number of emotions not only through their symbolism but also through their use, providing opportunities for activities such as love, play and contemplation. OFA have created a bridge proposal that is iconic, memorable and interactive. In the proposal, lookouts to the side of the walkway provide the scenes for children to play Pooh sticks, thinkers to contemplate or for lovers to cuddle. 

We have utilised the emotive qualities of poetry to link these activities, with poems engraved into the timber decking planks, providing a narrative prompt turning the bridge into a learning experience for young and old. The inscriptions on the bridge would be selected because of their unique contents and relevance to Salford. Poems that remind us of the hardships, challenges, and victories of everyday life would be used. This poetic narrative has driven forward our design to create an elegant structure that cradles the people upon it, offering them sanctuary.


The helix diaphragm bridge structure provides inherent strength when spanning between points. There is a contradiction in the simplicity to the structure creating a visual complexity. Our proposal is an abstraction of the structural principles of the camber creating a frame that twists and weaves that is memorable and iconic.