In 2003, RRP won an international competition to design a £40 million new bridge and parklands on the River Clyde in Glasgow. The bridge would have connected Tradeston, an area earmarked for urban regeneration, with Broomielaw on the edge of Glasgow’s flagship International Financial Services District.
The bridge design spans the Clyde by means of a curved ramped deck which sweeps across the river in an elliptical path, creating a new city icon. The continuous curve and gradual ramp of the crescent bridge allows common access for all users. The alignment of the elliptical deck on the axis of the upstream section of the river offers varied and unusual views whilst allowing headroom below the bridge for river traffic. The shape of the bridge is dictated by its function; whereas a traditional bridge design would achieve the necessary navigation heights by means of ramps, stairs and lifts, the design accommodates this requirement in one simple arc.
The bridge design uses the principle of a cable-stayed compression arch and a suspended deck to create a dynamic and memorable structure which, in combination with two new, high quality linear parklands either side, would have acted as a catalyst for the redevelopment of Tradeston. Ultimately, funding for the project was withdrawn. However, if it had been realised, the bridge could have helped Tradeston to function as a new urban quarter within Glasgow.