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COMPETITION TASK:

To design a new pedestrian bridge over the river Vardar.

RESPONSE:

Spatial (infra) structure that is neatly interpolated in the current physical configuration of the river Vardar banks, connecting not only the two differing sides of the city but also the recreational “under” with the trendy “upper” bank. Focusing on typology of public spaces that the bridge is suppose to connect, being exactly in-between two icons of the Мodern architecture in Skopje, (Macedonian Opera and Ballet and the City Shopping Center), the bridge tends to become another fluctuation strip but also an architectural statement of the city modernization. Relative to the current socio-cultural context we belong to, an important issue of the design is to state that every newly proposed infrastructure should correspond with the contemporary times we are part of, unlike the uncritical look to the historic references that are nothing but romantic ghosts of the past. Bridge structure is expressive but still simple, animated but still rational and easy to build. The main constructive element is a massive steel load-bearing beam whose structural components have been rearranged in a way they formally reference the surrounding layers of vegetation. The surface of the bridge has glazed perforations so the light can penetrate through it, resembling the way light penetrates through the branches and enlightening the commonly dark under-bridge passages. On several spots along the main structural element, few niches are formed within which the nearby cultural institutions could set in, promoting their activities so the bridge becomes also an informational site. Furthermore, on each side of the main load bearing beam, the pedestrian can find concrete engraved plan of the part of the city where one is approaching, involving bridge in the tools of city’s “signaletique”.

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