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Junya Ishigama on the cover of the October 2019 issue of Azure Magazine. The Innovators Issue.
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October 2019

#275
October 2019

The Innovators Issue: Junya Ishigama's genre-busting architecture, Sidewalk Labs and the future of the city, and more!

Lille Langebro, Copenhagen, WIlkinson Eyre, view at dusk

The newly opened Lille Langebro bridge meets the eye with a strikingly fluid presence. Rising and twisting its way across the Inner Harbour, the 160-metre span provides a vital new connection through the heart of Copenhagen for cyclists and pedestrians.

London architecture firm Wilkinson Eyre and the engineers at BuroHappold based its sinuous form on the Christianshavn fortifications just to the east, namely the curves of the moat and the rampart.

Indeed, the bridge makes for an organic addition to the centuries-old urban fabric and its contemporary alterations. Extending seamlessly to meet Vester Volgade, a relatively straight street on the other side of the harbour, Lille Langebro’s unapologetically contemporary aesthetic creates a dialogue with the commanding BLOX complex – designed by OMA – that sits at its western foot.

The structure is composed of five spans, which were fabricated in Rotterdam and shipped to Copenhagen in a massive barge. They were lowered by crane into position atop the pier supports, which rise out of the water.

Painted off-white, the steelwork framing the bridge resolves at sharp and elegant points that accentuate the smooth, uninterrupted curvature. Sitting atop its grey-painted piers, the light and graceful bridge seems to float almost weightlessly.

The structure’s playful kinetic energy – which almost tempts cyclists to accelerate across – and aesthetic unity belie its technical complexity: The bridge actually opens at the centre to accommodate larger vessels into the harbour. This choreography is dramatic and slightly surprising; the middle spans move perpendicular to their neighbours, deconstructing the fluid whole into its components.

Opened to the public in mid-August, Lille Langebro has proven instantly popular. In the evening, a soft lighting program emanates from the handrails, creating a clearer path and highlighting Lille Langebro’s sculptural presence from afar. In a city of modernist architectural icons, here’s another subtle standout.

Wilkinson Eyre’s Lille Langebro Bridge Snakes Across Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour

Adding a pedestrian and cyclist route through the heart of Copenhagen, the sculptural new bridge fits seamlessly into its urban context.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.