Grimshaw, in partnership with Eiffage, leading the design team and Ingerop, ppa.architectures, ATP and Quartiers Lumières, has won the competition to design the Robert Poujade pedestrian bridge in Toulouse in the south of France, that will serve to better connect pedestrians and cyclists to the regenerated Île du Ramier — the new ‘green lung’ for the city on the river Garonne.
Connecting to the north of the island from the Fer à Cheval neighbourhood, the bridge spans 160-metres across the river. On the city side it links directly to the embankment with access to the river promenade and the city cycle route and connects to the Avenue du Muret — Marcel Cavaillé light rail station. On the island side, guided by the levels of the land and limiting its impact on landscape, the bridge descends into the park via a 360-degree sloping concrete ramp and stairway, designed to mitigate against potential flooding from the river.
The cable-stayed bridge is defined by a 60-metre inverted V-shaped steel mast. Appearing to emerge from the island the structure acts as a gateway to the island and enables the bridge crossing to provide uninterrupted views to the old town to the north and the Pyrenees to the south. This functional simplicity extends to the material selection: the steel mast supports a five-metre-wide metal deck and balustrade. By night, controlled lighting along the bridge and mast creates a safe, accessible passage for users and sets the new city route sympathetically in the surrounding natural and urban context on either side of the river.
With construction due to complete in Spring 2024, the bridge will act as a catalyst to the future redevelopment of the north of Île du Ramier. This includes the redesign of the former Parc des Expositions site, as well as providing pedestrian, car-free access to the existing Art Deco Nakache swimming pool and the stadium.
“We are delighted to be collaborating on the design of the Robert Poujade pedestrian bridge, and to be part of the renewal of Ile de Ramier as the centre for leisure, sports and reconnection with biodiversity in the city. Our intent is for the bridge to become immediately part of the rich architectural character of Toulouse and contribute to connecting the wonderful spaces across the Ile de Ramier and the city centre through active travel.”
Alice Barrois, Grimshaw Associate Principal and architectural project lead
“The bridge will be the first Grimshaw-designed project in 40 years to be built in France, delivered, alongside other exciting projects in the pipeline, from our Paris studio. It is a fantastic reflection of Grimshaw’s approach, where we can, through successful partnerships, bring beauty and rigour to deliver functional, contextual places that inspire people, respond to the environment and help shape cities and communities.”
Declan McCafferty, Partner at Grimshaw
Site photos, 12.10.23
In collaboration with Eiffage, Ingerop, ppa.architectures, ATP and Quartiers Lumières.