Footbridge over the Mongent River / Alfa Polaris

© Xavier Font

Footbridge over the Mongent River / Alfa Polaris - More Images+ 14

  • Architects: Alfa Polaris
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1133
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers:  Grupo Goded, Muros, Santa & Cole
  • Concept Design: Alfa Polaris; Xavier Font
  • Structural Design: Alfa Polaris; Xavier Font, Cristina Fernández
  • Security And Health: Trema Projectes; Andreu Gilaberte, Àngels Salvadó
  • Main Contractor: Excavaciones y Construcciones Benjumea; Albert Barrero Gil, Carlos Marín Suárez
  • Client: Municipio de Montornès del Vallès; Pere Pascual Mariné, Josep Pérez Amatller
  • Site Supervision: Municipio de Montòrnès del Vallès, asistido por Alfa Polaris
  • Author Architect: Xavier Font
  • City: Barcelona
  • Country: Spain
More SpecsLess Specs
© Xavier Font

Text description provided by the architects. Montornès del Vallès is a municipality of 16,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Montornès Centre is the main settlement, where most of the population —more than 12,000 inhabitants— live. However, a significant part of its residents —some 3,700— live in Montornès North, located just over a kilometer away.

Floor Plan

The two urban areas are on opposite sides of the River Mogent, which crosses the municipality from east to west. So far, there was only one bridge to cross the river. The main goal of the construction of this new footbridge was to provide a new pedestrian path to reduce the length of the displacements between these two main districts, and at the same time provide a more friendly route for pedestrians and cyclists.

In essence, the project consists of three large objects: the deck over the river and the two access ramps. The three elements are of a comparable size and our intention was to provide them with similar volumes but highlighting, with an appropriate choice of materials, the contrast between them.

© Xavier Font

For the deck, a simple structural solution of a single 47.7-metre long span Corten steel truss girder was chosen. The proposed structure is formed by two longitudinal Warren truss girders linked together at their top and bottom flanges by horizontal Warren trusses. 

© Xavier Font

The depth of the girders was fixed inferiorly by the geometric limitation established by the hydraulic requirements, and at the top by the minimum safety distance to the cables of a high-voltage overhead power line that passes through the center of the river.

© Xavier Font

The decking of the footbridge is placed over the lower horizontal truss so that the users walk inside a tubular element of rectangular section, of a functional width of 3.0 meters and a free height of 2.7 meters; an arrangement that offers a safer feeling against the proximity of the power line cables.

© Xavier Font

The choice of the truss typology provides a great transparency to the crossing and allows pedestrians to fully enjoy the views that result from the necessary elevation of the path. However, with the aim of attenuating the tunnel effect generated by this configuration, which might become somewhat claustrophobic, the upper horizontal lattice is interrupted in wide sections and appears only at its two ends and around mid-span, where, for structural reasons, is more necessary.

© Xavier Font

The Warren truss is a classic typology in the world of structures, which is sometimes perceived as an outdated form. For this reason, we transformed its shape introducing a marked irregularity to the rhythm of the trusses and we accentuated an intended effect of controlled chaos.

© Xavier Font

As a result, we provided pedestrians and cyclists a special user experience with a highly effective and very low maintenance structure, which, along with a careful selection of the rest of materials (gabions for the ramps, polymeric timber and electrowelded Corten steel grating for the decking, LED lamps for the street lighting,...), allowed us to achieve the sought goals with a highly cost-effective solution. 

© Xavier Font

Project gallery

See allShow less

Project location

Address:Montornès del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain

Click to open map
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Footbridge over the Mongent River / Alfa Polaris" [Pasarela sobre el Río Mongent / Alfa Polaris] 16 May 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.