A new footbridge connecting the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau with the city of Oswiecim. Arup’s specialist bridge-building experience was pivotal to delivering this ambitious and highly original design by celebrated Polish architect, Jarosław Kozakiewicz.
The Sola footbridge in Oswiecim, Poland, connects not just two river banks, but also the past with the present. A new connection between the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the city of Oswiecim, the bridge is just one part of the wider "Oswiecim meeting area" initiative. The bridge’s design is both visually arresting yet also intended to emerge naturalistically from the rich greenery of the Sola river valley it crosses. To create the bridge’s twisting span superstructure Arup’s engineers worked hard to stay as close as possible to the original sculptural concept by artist/architect Jaroslaw Kozakiewicz. Given the bridge’s proximity to the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, its design is intended to take account of the sensitive local context, and was developed in parallel with the “Nations Reconciliation Park” project.
Arup’s team adapted the precise location and elevation of the bridge to better fit with the existing terrain. This meant minimal interference in existing levees as well as ensuring the new bridge didn’t visually overshadow any element of the former WWII extermination camp site. We delivered multidisciplinary services in the footbridge, including design and engineering, building permit design, detail design and drafting tender documents. We also provided associated technical infrastructure like the reconstruction of the flood banks, the electrical line of medium voltage and the pavement. Finally, we also obtained all the required agreements and permits.