Text description provided by the architects. Knostrop Weir foot and cycle bridge forms part of the wider Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme. It will be a key link in maintaining a pedestrian and cycle pathway along the River Aire.
The City Council’s requirement was for a 70m, foot and cycle bridge that had to be of high architectural quality. Construction of the bridge would also need to be tightly integrated with the construction of a new flood control weir it stands upon.
The project is a crossover point between two major projects in Leeds. Funding comes as part of the innovative £50M Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme with the river link reinstating part of the newly upgraded Trans Pennine Trail. As such, special attention had to be made to the landscape assessments and guidance documents of the aforementioned schemes.
The superstructure of the bridge is constructed using painted weathering steel with stainless steel parapets. This was all pre-fabricated in 20m sections before being delivered and installed over the weir.
Approval for Outline Planning Permission was granted in January 2016. Following construction of the weir, fabrication and erection of the bridge took place between May and July 2017.
Despite the complexity of the bridge form, extensive use of parametric software and the teams understanding of fabrication techniques enabled a striking design to be delivered within a limited budget and programme.
Designed to be accessible for all users, the bridge is an important part of the newly upgraded route between Leeds City Centre and its Southside area encouraging sustainable and healthy behaviour. The sinuous lines of the bridge deck ripple above the cascading water beneath; supported on projecting piers that at only 50mm thick are at times nearly invisible. The contextual, yet immediately recognisable appearance of the structure has enabled the local community to identify with it, producing a strong association between the bridge and its place. Incorporation of ‘look-out’ areas along the deck creates new opportunities for people to enjoy the river and appreciate the wider natural setting of Knostrop Park.