Leamouth North River Crossing

A 60m long pedestrian and cycle vertical lift bridge in London taking inspiration from its site history

The steel clad abutments at either side of this bridge house the pedestrian lift and the bridge hydraulics. Painted mild steel is the principal cladding material and was designed to reflect the site’s industrial history, while attention to detail introduced some complementary intricacy for this public space.

Our approach to the design of a cladding system, in the short eight-week time scale, was adapted to suit a small scale project where repetition was low and where interfaces between different cladding types bore almost the same frequency as the “main systems”. The project gave us a unique opportunity to design in steel and explore its potential developing an interlocking cladding panel system with integral support and drainage strategy.

The ribs of steel cladding run in different directions on the vertical and sloped facades of the abutments and each edge appears chunky with deep recessed joints. The cable loop for the hydraulics is displayed to the public behind the steel mesh and silhouetted against a carmen red rainscreen.

Timber was introduced along the entire length of the bridge as removable cladding to some of the bridge services while also designed to serve as a public bench. A stainless steel surround and a glass cantilevered canopy to the lift doors together with the timber enrich the materiality of the project.

Client: Ballymore Group | Bridge designer: Davies Maguire + Whitby