Prompted by an open competition to design a new bridge over the M73 near Glasgow, our proposal provides a crucial and recognisable new link for pedestrians and cyclists and connects the currently divided Seven Lochs Wetland Park, which is destined to be Scotland’s largest urban nature park. It is located between the western areas of the park and the existing visitor centre. Marking the main Wetland Park connection, the new bridge becomes a striking visual reference for drivers on the M73 and provides an intensified spatial experience for pedestrians and cyclists crossing above.
Bridging the motorway results in elevating visitors to a set height, of which advantage is taken to present carefully constructed views. By walking onto the bridge, visitors travel through the ecological levels of the local wetland from the ground up to above the woodland canopy, where the bridge becomes a looking device.
The bridge is intended to evoke associations with aquatic life forms and man-made vessels. It is to be manufactured locally from steel using modern ship building technology and taking advantage of Glasgow’s longstanding ship building tradition. Similar to a boat, the ‘hull’ of the bridge is designed as a dual-layer arching the distance across the motorway, whilst ribs provide rigidity and counteract torsion.