The Memorial Bridge

3LHD: The Memorial Bridge is a spatial intervention and an urban public object, a construction with tactile properties and a symbolic object. It is a pedestrian bridge that embodies the utilitarian function and a memory of the Croatian war of Independence veterans, a place of memory and piety, but also a social gathering and socializing spot. It is located in the center of Rijeka, on the channel which separates the historic city center from the former port, at one of the most potent sites for future construction (it is currently occupied by a parking lot, in the future it will become a park). The bridge is designed as an extremely thin plate (65cm) connecting the two banks of the channel in a characteristic L-shape, it extends across the channel and ends with a monumental vertical accent.

The definition of the public space was achieved only through the structure of the bridge itself, which at the same time must be recognized as a memorial object. A four year long research resulted in the construction specially designed and manufactured exclusively for this project. Each part of the bridge was an industrially designed and manufactured product that was assembled on site. The 150 tons heavy steel bridge structure was produced in a local shipyard, and carried by sea in one piece on a specially designed barge to the location. As the Memorial Bridge had to pass under two existing bridges on its way to the site, the barge was designed so that it can sink at the time of lowest water levels and go under the existing bridges with its burden. This urban public hybrid has changed the vista of the city (in the material as well as mental sense) and has achieved its goal of being a Memorial Bridge.

Architect: 3LHD (Project team: Silvije Novak, Marko Dabrovic, Sasa Begovic, Tanja Grozdanic, Sinisa Glusica)
Project: 12.1997 (public competition – first prize)
Project end: 08.2001.
Construction: 09.2001. – 21.12.2001.
Location: Mrtvi kanal / Rijeka / Croatia
Client: City of Rijeka, Croatia
Budget: 1.2 million $
Photos: Aljosa Brajdic, Damir Fabijanić and 3LHD Archive
Text: 3LHD
Dimensions: Site area: 1046 m2 / Gross floor area: 262 m2 / Footprint: 262 m2 / Altitude: 1.7 m / Overall length: 47.0 m / Clear span: 35.7 m / Width: 5.4 m / Construction thickness: 65 cm / Verticals: 9 m
Structural engineers: CES doo Rijeka – Jean Wolf, Zoran Novacki, Dusan Srejic – bridge UPI-2M doo Zagreb – Berislav Medic – bench and handrail
Main contractors: GP Krk (general), Shipyard 3.Maj (steel construction), Almes (aluminium, glass), Ribaric (lighting)
Collaborators: B.Jurjevic (Almes), M.Lindquist (SAPA aluminium), NOVA Karlovac (square and memorial surface), carpentry Rudolf (benches, handrail), Aljosa Sribar (OSRAM – LED), Ciril Zlobec (glass prisms)


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