- Date published
- December 22, 2022
Dissing+Weitling and WSP won the competition with their wooden bridge “Portamento” - designed with respect for the cultural heritage of the area.
The winning proposal is an elegant bridge made of lime-wood and glass with a metal roof. The footbridge was designed to connect the station building and platforms at Sundsvall Centralstation.
"Portamento" is one of the six proposals in a competition organised by the Swedish Transport Administration with Architects Sweden. The jury chose what they consider an “architecturally exciting proposal with a good potential for development”. The proposals were judged on five criteria: design, function, sustainability, development potential as well as feasibility and management.
“We've designed a bridge with respect for the significant heritage environment in the area. We didn’t just want to create a practical connection, we also aimed at a safe, sustainable and inclusive transition which gives something back to the place. The materials and elegance of the footbridge, and its twisting geometry form a significant figure in the otherwise very rigid station landscape, enriching a unique location,” said Jesper Henriksen, architect and partner at Dissing+Weitling.
“The jury’s process was very rewarding and educational and they made it clear that the Portamento proposal met the criteria best. The proposal is based on elegant solutions, and the design centres on the passengers,” said Anders Vilhelmsson, project manager at the Swedish Transport Administration and chair of the jury for competition. He continued:
"We can see a design rich in experience and concern with regard to both the urban landscape and the cultural environment. The architecture offers a playful footbridge without match in any other station. Towards the south, the footbridge could be extended in the future towards Björneborgsgatan in an opposite turning curve".
With its simplicity, the winning proposal creates identity, context and a safe environment – a smooth transition between the different compositions and ‘tones’. By maintaining and reinforcing the existing context, a new design can be integrated with the associated culturally important valuable buildings.
Materials optimisation and gentle foundations
The climate footprint of construction has been kept down by optimising the amount of materials used. The foundations were also deemed to be less extensive than for the other proposals, and several parts of the bridge can be built separately and lifted into place, thereby minimising disruption of train movements.
Detailed project design
With the Swedish Transport Administration, the winners will now work further on the detailed project design. The plan is to link a contractor to the project in 2024.
“It is a great honour to be entrusted with developing Sundsvall Centralstation. At a time when travelling patterns are changing and societal awareness about sustainability and conservation is growing, we are very proud to be able to create this symbol “to come home to” (...),” said Rebecca Deutsch, landscape architect and head of department, WSP.