Robert Poujade Pedestrian Bridge   Toulouse, France

The Passerelle Robert Poujade in Toulouse is a key part of the Grand Parc Garonne urban project led by Toulouse Metropole. The pedestrian and cycling bridge – one of two bridges connecting the Ile de Ramier to the city – provides traffic-free routes to the regenerated island, a new 'green lung' of the city on the Garonne. Grimshaw in partnership with Eiffage (who lead the design team), Ingerop, ppa architectures, ATP and Quartier Lumieres, won the competition to design and deliver the bridge in 2022.

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.

Linking to the north of the north of the Ile du Ramier, the bridge acts as a catalyst to the future development which includes the redevelopment of the 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

Toulouse, France

In collaboration with Eiffage, Ingerop, ppa.architectures, ATP and Quartiers Lumières.

Toulouse Métropole