The KI Studio’s invited competition winning bridge concept design was selected by a steering committee including Penrith City Council, The Government Architect, Roads & Maritime Services, Transport for NSW and the local Member of Parliament.
World Architecture & Design Awards 2019
First Award | Category: Urban Design
Architects: Miguel Wustemann
Studio: KI Studio
Team Members: Miguel Wustemann, Si Yu, Bene Herandez
The bridge was developed as a unique and iconic structure that provides safe shared path connection across the Nepean River and which promotes Penrith as a River City, linking it to the water, providing connectivity between Penrith and Emu Plains, optimising river views, and that sits lightly and sensitively into the landscape.
Key constraints included the historic setting of Emu Plains side, minimizing impacts to the rowing course (the longest, straight natural river course worldwide), being sensitive to adjacent residents and flood constraints, as well as siting the `Bridge sensitively around a number of heritage items.
KI Studio’s design was selected as the preferred option, demonstrating a sensitive and innovative design that respected the site’s cultural values and heritage items. The original design included a curvilinear shape of the truss to reflect the historical alignment of the historical punt crossing the river, allowing the bridge to have a softer appearance. The eastern abutment was relocated during design development, resulting in the deletion of the ‘S’ alignment of the truss for a straight structure.
The design is strongly driven from a landscape and urban design point of view rather than an engineering focus. The resulting 200 metre truss span is a unique solution that challenges common engineering thinking.
The incorporation of viewing terraces, balconies and upper decks (later deleted) creates a structure that is more than a bridge, providing a new space and place for social interaction and allowing users to enjoy the beauty of the unique river landscape setting.
The vision: The vision was to make the bridge a destination in itself rather than just a crossing point. After a thorough analysis of the surrounding landscape and environment, the developed bridge concept created is playful and invites visitors to experience the Nepean River from a variety of vantage points. The spaces have been designed for people to meet, linger, and contemplate in.
Bridge Design: The bridge balustrades echo a row boat with the timbers representing the hull of a boat to make reference to the historic rowing course below. The upper portion of the balustrade is executed in steel cable to reflect a maritime character and to maximise open views to the river.
The Result: An integrated infrastructure solution that reflects creativity and provides inspiration for future generations to set a bench mark, where the function is expanded to be more than just a utilitarian crossing point but rather a destination in itself.
- A beautiful elegant bridge providing an attractive, safe shared path connection across the Nepean River that fits sensitively into the riparian and built character and creating an aesthetic highlight for Penrith and the region.
- A landmark structure that is unique, innovative, social and sculptural.
- A bridge with a 200m clear span, making it one of Australia’s longest single span pedestrian bridges.
A piece of infrastructure project for the community to engage with the river, a platform for social events allowing the community to celebrate the river, for rowing races and festivals etc. whilst also accommodating passive and active recreation. Its design underpins the community’s and Council’s aspirations and creates a landmark in terms of usage and as a marker.
Credits & Attributions
Client: Penrith City Council and RMS (Roads and Maritime Services)
Architect: KI Studio
Lead architect: Miguel Wustemann
Urban Designers: Si Yu, Bene Hernandez
Landscape Architect: KI Studio
Lead landscape architect: Judy van Gelderen
Landscape architect Bene Hernandez
RMS: Engineering input, Project Manager
Lead urban designer: Gareth Collins
Mark Bennett, Doan Nhu
Penrith City Council: Craig Butler
Note that following this early stage, ie for this awards submission- the following consultants have also been involved: ( the project is currently being developed for tender documentation)
Engineer: Aurecon (Concept design refinement)
BG&E: (detailed design and documentation)
Lighting Consultant: Connect Infrastructure
Lighting Consultant Review: Steensen Varming
DDA Consultant: Morris Goding Access Consultant
Flooding Consultant: Lyall and Associates
Animation: Urban Circus
Penrith City Council: Craig Butler, Ruth Byrnes
RMS: Project Manager: Doan Nhu,Simon Ngai, Mark Bennett, Sada Sadadcharan, Raphael Morgan, Jeyaprakash Gurusamy, Peter Coughlan, Joseph Fanous, Gina Kelly, Lidiya Hudson, Lead urban designer: Gareth Collins, Leigh Trevitt