Articles Robert Poujade pedestrian bridge in Toulouse opens

The Robert Poujade pedestrian bridge, part of the Grand Parc Garonne urban development project led by the Toulouse Metropole was officially opened on 22 June by the Mayor of Toulouse. Designed by international architecture practice Grimshaw and ppa.architecture as part of a consortium led by Eiffage, and including Ingerop, Atelier ATP and Quartiers Lumieres, the bridge is one of four that will eventually connect the Île du Ramier and the city, offering accessible routes through the city's new ‘green lung’ on the Garonne.

Linking the Fer à Cheval district to the north of the island, the footbridge spans 160 metres across the river Garonne. On the city side, it is directly linked to the riverbank, with access to the river promenade and cycle path, and is connected to the Avenue du Muret — Marcel Cavaillé tramway station. On the island side, guided by the terrain levels and limiting its impact on the landscape, the footbridge descends into the park via a circular inclined ramp and a concrete staircase, designed to reduce the risk of flooding.

Cable-stayed, the bridge is defined by a 60-metre inverted V-shaped steel mast. Appearing to emerge from the island, this structure acts as a gateway to the island, allowing people to cross the footbridge with uninterrupted views of the old town to the north and the Pyrenees to the south. This functional simplicity extends to the choice of materials: the steel mast supports a five-metre-wide deck and a balustrade, both in metal. At night, controlled lighting along the footbridge and mast creates a safe and accessible passage for users, defining a new axis in the surrounding natural and urban context.

"We are delighted to have collaborated on the design of the Robert Poujade bridge and to be playing our part in the renewal of the Ile du Ramier as a centre for leisure, sport and reconnection with the city's biodiversity. Our intention is for the bridge to become an immediate part of Toulouse's rich architectural character and to help connect the wonderful spaces of Ile du Ramier and the city centre through active travel."

Alice Barrois, Principal of Grimshaw's Paris office and lead architect on the project

"This new structure will also help the city to reclaim the banks of the Garonne and Île du Ramier, which have been restored to their natural state and made accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. The particular configuration of the site (between the dyke and the island) led to the ambitious architectural and structural choice of an asymmetrical cable-stayed structure. It's a rare privilege to be able to work with Grimshaw, Ingérop and Eiffage to create a footbridge that is emblematic of French architecture and engineering.”

Guillaume Pujol, associate architect at ppa architectures

Linking the northern end of the Ile du Ramier, the footbridge will act as a catalyst for the future development of the district, which will include the redevelopment of the former Parc des Expositions site, as well as car-free pedestrian access to the Art Deco Nakache swimming pool and stadium. Parc des Expositions site, as well as car-free pedestrian access to the Art Deco Nakache swimming pool and stadium.