As part of its 2013-14 City Centre Master Plan, Brisbane City Council has released a number of transformative urban ideas. One of these, a design concept for a pedestrian bridge from the CBD to Kangaroo Point, will help Brisbane realise its potential as a compact and walkable city.

The pedestrian bridge, designed by Richard Kirk Architects (RKA), has been selected as one of the six priority projects as transformation of Brisbane’s City Centre begins. Work on these projects is expected to commence over the next five years and aim to revitalise city streets and riverfront areas, and improve the connection between the inner city and outlying neighbourhoods.

Richard Kirk Architects design concept

Richard Kirk Architects’ design concept for a pedestrian bridge from the CBD to Kangaroo Point

Brisbane’s urban shape has always been driven by the river and its sinuous course. RKA noted that the current lack of crossings has hampered the density and compactness that is crucial to achieve a walkable city centre and city frame.

“Recognising the importance of Brisbane’s pedestrian realm will in itself evolve into an evocative expression of a city that embraces its benign subtropical climate and unique riparian setting,” the firm said.

The proposal includes a double curved suspension bridge that aims to create a minimal impact on the river’s edge while adding an elegant form to the evolving city skyline and integrating with the existing and planned public transport network.

Aerial view of the proposed Kangaroo Point to CBD Cross-River Link

Aerial view of the proposed Kangaroo Point to CBD Cross-River Link.

The bridge would create an important pedestrian link between Alice Street and Kangaroo Point, improving connections with existing transport services. The double curve links the Alice-Edward Street intersection with Thornton Street, Kangaroo Point. While the natural curves of the river provide a framework for the geometry of the bridge, the strategy for its design was driven by aesthetic simplicity, economy and efficiency in construction. Form follows function in the creation of this project.

“The bridge’s form is developed from the structural solution, which simply and clearly expresses the flow of internal forces through its static system and creates an elegant gesture across the river,” RKA said.

double curved suspension bridge

The double curved suspension bridge will have minimal impact on the river’s edge.

If completed, the bridge would feature a 395-metre long, four-metre wide wooden deck with a glass railing that enhances the views of the river and city landscape. Masts would stand 50 metres in height and 1.1 metres its maximum diameter, with cables spanning 430 metres in length with a 200-millimetre diameter.

The project would help increase the viability of a full range of sustainable travel choices in the CBD as part of an array of ideas submitted by leading design teams to renovate 16 key areas in the inner city which have been identified by the City Council for potential transformation.

Although there is not any confirmation that the project will be carried out, these ideas are intended to stimulate conversation and capture the community’s attention and imagination, encouraging people to vote online for their favourite ideas to transform Brisbane.