Lille Langebro

The 160m elegant Lille Langebro cycle and pedestrian opening bridge across Copenhagen´s inner harbor is complete. It is designed by WilkinsonEyre won in competition for Danish client Realdania By & Byg, and is now gifted to the municipality of Copenhagen. The bridge crosses the city harbor next to the new Blox building, home to the Danish Architecture Center among other things. Deserted for decades the bridge brings new life to this area and seamlessly connects the down Vester Voldgade from the City Hall to the harbor and on to Christianshavn on the Langebrogade quayside.

The bridge design is characterized by three key ideas when it comes to concept and identity. – Firstly, the bridge follows an elegant curve in plan which aligns with and evokes the great arc of ramparts and moat of Christianshavn. Secondly, the structure is arranged as two wings on the sides of the bridge defining a very acute edge dividing light from shade. This edge dips below the decks at the abutments and soars up above the deck at midspan creating a further elegant line. Thirdly, and unexpectedly, the graceful curved profile of the bridge only becomes broken when the two swinging sections open for marine traffic. At midspan the structure is higher than at the quaysides to allow for required 5.4m navigation clearance for boats. Together with the curved alignment and raised ‘wings’ this has the effect of a gradual reveal of what is ahead for those crossing, the press release explains.

Split into five spans, with two 28m parts either side of the 48m main section, Lille Langebro has a minimum clear width of 7m, offering a generous 3m wide zone for pedestrians and a 4m wide zone which has been subdivided into two lanes for cyclists.

Simon Fryer, technical director on bridges, at the structural engineers collaborates BuroHappold said: – This is a landmark project both for Copenhagen and for the wider bridges sector. By combining cutting-edge design with unique technical solutions it has been possible to minimize the structural depth of the bridge and really push the boundaries of design, affording pedestrians and cyclists views across the harbor. The opening and closing of the bridge acts as a spectacle in itself, bringing a sense of theatre and excitement to the area. We’re delighted to have been able to work closely with Realdania and WilkinsonEyre to make the vision a reality.