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The Gallery | Copenhagen's 'kissing' bridge

Engineering consultant Flint & Neill has released images of the newly-opened Inner Harbour Bridge in Copenhagen.

Nicknamed the “kissing” bridge, the 180m long structure’s sliding mechanism allows pedestrians to stand on two horizontal viewing platforms at the edge of the navigation channel, even when the bridge is open.

The opening sections of the Inner Harbour Bridge give the appearance of floating in the air as the two parts meet in the centre to gently “kiss”.

Cowi subsidiary Flint & Neill’s involvement in the project began in 2009 when the team won an international design competition. The winning scheme was commended by the jury, who said: “The bridge across the inner harbour basin is surprisingly innovative in its interpretation of the bridge motif: a clear, simplified perception of the bridge as movement and function in one.”

Flint & Neill director Ian Firth said: “To see the beauty and functionality of [the bridge] today and to realise that many Copenhageners and tourists have been quick to adopt the bridge and appreciate the efficient connection between the vital areas of the city, is a great joy.”

As lead consultant on the project, Flint & Neill provided the scheme design, full detailed design, and, together with Cowi, construction supervision services.

The project team also included architect Studio Bednarski, mechanical and electrical designer Hardesty & Hanover, and lighting designer Speirs & Major Associates.

During the detailed design phase of the project, the curved geometry and complex cross section of the Inner Harbour Bridge added a significant challenge.

The outer side faces of the steel spans are smooth conical surfaces, while the inner faces are complex warped surfaces so the steel plate is formed from a series of triangular facets, producing interesting patterns when viewed from below.

Due to the width of the harbour being so much greater than the width of the navigation channel, it provides just enough room for the steel spans to pull back out of the way when ships pass by.

The steel spans, weighing 250t each, were made in Poland, delivered to Copenhagen by sea in August 2015 and installed by floating crane in just one night.

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