Spencer Dock Bridge / Amanda Levete Architects

© Gidon Fuehrer

The 40 metre Spencer Dock Bridge with its fluid lines and undulating concrete surface takes trams, traffic and pedestrians across the Royal Canal. design for the span bridge peels down the edges of the deck to reveal a space for pedestrians to pause and take in views of the dock and Linear Park which is currently under construction.

Follow the break for more photographs of the Spencer Dock Bridge.

Architects: Amanda Levete Architects
Location: Dublin,
AL_A Team: Amanda Levete, Alan Dempsey – Project Architect, Peter Feldman, Jordy Fu, Alvin Huang, Theo Sarantoglou
Structural Engineers: Arup
Main Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
Client: Dublin Docklands Development Authority, Railway Procurement Agency
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Gidon Fuehrer

© Gidon Fuehrer

The underside of the bridge merges with the piers in a single movement with joint lines in the concrete designed to accentuate the geometry of the form. The finish of the concrete provides high visibility against the dark water of the canal and at night the structure is vibrantly lit from below, underlining its fluid form.

© Gidon Fuehrer

The proportions of the bridge are unusual and the design exploits these by treating the bridge as a piece of landscape design. The soft geometry and asymmetry create a piece of infrastructure that resolves the tension between form and function.

© Gidon Fuehrer

The bridge has been constructed from an innovative combination of insitu and precast reinforced concrete, using formwork milled from high density expanded polystyrene coated in resin for a smooth surface finish. Fabricating directly from our 3D parametric models provided a high degree of control over the geometry. This innovative use of CNC cut polystyrene is to date the largest application of the material to be used in this way. White limestone was used in the concrete mix to increase visibility and reflect the changing patterns of the water. The concrete edges were precast off site and incorporate recessed lighting and the stainless steel balustrade.

Commissioned as Future Systems, the bridge is one of the first major projects completed under the name of Amanda Levete Architects. It will be fully operational in 2010 to coincide with completion of the Linear Park.

Cite: Minner, Kelly. "Spencer Dock Bridge / Amanda Levete Architects" 16 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=96400>
  • http://on.fb.me/holcim-awards Holcim Awards

    Nice flowing design…definitely draws on the language of water as it meanders through streams and canals. Great work.


  • James

    Beautiful work

  • Seamus

    Great design. Pity the same can’t be said for the buildings surrounding it. It’s good to see that the architects tried to come up with something innovative instead of just churning out another piece of bland ‘motorway architecture’

    • Ross

      I think Scott Tallon Walker would kick you in the teeth for that!

      Bridge is fine – I walk across it but from eye height it seems quite normal. The steppy things are useless because you can’t really sit on them and the sparkley tarmac is getting covered in gum.

      I find I get more enjoyment from the bridge at the Italian quarter, even if I am a fan of fluid forms.

    • Richie

      Motorway architecture is right, the Dublin docklands are unfortunately plagued with mediocre commercial boxes built during the boom years (including the monolithic Convention Centre just down from this project)..

      I like the sinuous form of this bridge but as Ross says it’s hard to appreciate it unless you happen to glimpse it from a distance. The two side bulges aren’t really much use, you’d think they could install some seating or something.