Capricorn Bridge

  • scope of work: concept design - tender documentation

The polymorphic Capricorn Bridge in the Düsseldorf Media Harbor connects two buildings of the Uniper headquarters: the Capricornhaus by GATERMANN+SCHOSSIG and the FLOAT by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

As a steel and glass structure, the bridge formally sets itself apart from the two very different buildings as an independent element. The complex form of the bridge is derived from the differing building axes as well as entry possibilities into the buildings. The supporting structure of the 37m long, bent bridge consists of steel tubes on which the trapezoidal and triangular glass elements, some of which are very pointed, rest directly. In this all-round enclosed faceted "tube", a metal footbridge leads over the wooden road at a height of 4m.

The minimalistic lighting, adapted to the architecture, traces the shape of the path and makes it appear almost floating in the evening hours. The progression of the printing with increasing and decreasing dots on the glass elements cancels out any sense of space between the wall, ceiling and floor. Seen from the outside, the polygonal design of the bridge makes it appear like a cut diamond which, as soon as it gets dark outside, glows as one body from the inside out.

For the implementation, the linear floor-mounted luminaire following the footbridge was mitered in the cut edges in order to trace the path without gaps. By matching the colors of the luminaire and the metal structure of the bridge, the individual elements come together to form a whole.

Our vision was to emphasize/enhance the tunnel effect created by the slanted glass inside the bridge with light. The final solution was preceded by a number of test setups with printed glass and lighting tests, both at our office and during the construction phase on site. This was the only way to ensure that the complexity behind it all would ultimately appear minimalist and simple, enhance the tunnel effect and create a coherent overall image in the evening and night hours.

  • Photos: HGEsch


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