savioz fabrizzi architectes
new pedestrian footbridge over the broye at payerne, competition, 1st prize
implenia suisse sa
competition april 2017
stephan sa, ingéni sa
the broye. this peaceful river crosses the territory of three cantons, travelling 80km from the alpine foothills of fribourg to lake neuchâtel. as it flows gently into payerne, its banks are lined with trees which preserve a quietness and seclusion that belie the position of this spot, sandwiched tightly between the eternit industrial site and a rapidly-expanding residential area.
those who use this crossing point are offered a parenthesis, a quiet moment in contact with nature, a new view of a natural link.
the inspiration for the design of the bridge was drawn primarily from the surrounding natural elements. the structure of its web becomes progressively more open, so that users move gradually towards the lightness and transparency at its centre. this geometry results from a reinterpretation of the lines of force running through the structure. the dense parts close to the abutments reflect more powerful forces, whereas at its centre it becomes a thin and very light trellis affording a generous view down onto the river.
its perforated deck reproduces the language of the parapet walls, thus sharing in the effort to stabilise the bridge. the water flows freely and is therefore controlled.
the unique material from which the bridge is made, corten steel, gives it a timeless quality. exposure to weather will give it a uniform, coloured patina that preserves it naturally, so that it never requires maintenance.
digital cutting technology enabled us to execute a complex design, representing the structure's static forces. our reflection on the design of the bridge and its origins in the natural world ultimately led us to develop this implementation, to be economical in our use of materials and, above all, as in any viable system in the natural world, to take a very logical approach.