Tiny Landmarks: The Infinite Bridge in Denmark

“People like looking at other people without imposing, and sometimes you just need to add a bit of playfulness to enable the complexity of everyday life to unfold.” – Niels Bjørn Povlsgaard, architect. Photo by Aarhus I Billeder
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“People like looking at other people without imposing, and sometimes you just need to add a bit of playfulness to enable the complexity of everyday life to unfold.” – Niels Bjørn Povlsgaard, architect. Photo by Aarhus I Billeder
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This delicate circular bridge designed by Gjøde & Povlsgaard Arkitekter in Aarhus, Denmark, brings beachgoers to the water’s edge and beyond. It’s part of Tiny Landmarks, our look at six projects modest in size and budget but immeasurable in impact. 

Sometimes, an architectural gesture is so simple and inviting, it’s hard to believe it didn’t exist before. That’s the case with Infinite Bridge, a raised circle 60 metres in diameter, partly installed on a sandy beach and partly over the water in Aarhus, Denmark. Visitors stroll along the wooden jetty to take in views of the coast, or dangle their feet above the deepening water. The bridge, installed for two months last year, was so popular that weddings were held on it, and crowds gladly lined up to saunter along its inviting route.

Designed by Danish studio Gjøde & Povlsgaard Arkitekter, the project was part of Sculpture by the Sea, an art biennial where artists from around the world are invited to find new ways of enticing visitors to experience the water’s edge.

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Similar events, with the goal of reactivating urban landscapes through pop-up architecture, have become popular elsewhere in recent years. Winnipeg’s Warming Huts, where temporary huts are installed along the Red River Mutual Trail, has attracted big-name architects to participate. Its success has spurred on another annual winter festival in Toronto, called Winter Stations, where lifeguard towers in the east end Beach neighbourhood form the basis for pavilions that make walking the beach in the dead of winter a much more attractive prospect.

What’s intriguing about the Infinite Bridge is its immediate appeal. While dock fingers have provided a place to stroll beyond the shoreline for an eternity, a circle adds a whole other coastal experience by providing endless viewpoints from which to take in the surroundings. Says principal architect Niels Bjørn Povlsgaard, “Sometimes, you need playfulness, and sometimes you need simplicity in architecture to enable the complexity of everyday life to unfold.”  

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