|Soshigaya Bridge / bridge design / Setagaya-ku|
| This bridge over the Sen-kawa
waterway running through a residential area in Setagaya, Tokyo is a part
of the design project 'Six Bridges in Setagaya', which started with field
work done by 5 experts from different fields, including Han. Five other
bridges were also designed by Studio Han, but were not realised due to
changes in administrative policy.
As a precondition, concrete beams to support the bridges were fixed. Considering the surrounding area, it was found that light design with several unique details would be rather suitable than a monumental bridge.
Turning a corner on a backstreet by a clocktower, we come to the riverside. A glass-block arch welcomes pedestrians and also may be used as a shelter from unexpected showers.The semi-circular paved space on the left leads to a pathway paved with natural terracotta-coloured, which also look beautiful wet in the rain. The bricks lend a soft feel, especially after walking on hard asphalt. Over the course of time, the brick surfaces will wear slightly, with gentle undulations to show where people have passed.
| Handrail eschew preconceptions that it should
be parallel, equal or symmetrical in order to provide a barrier of safety.
Rather, the design reflects the free flow of light and wind across the
bridge, and provides an extension of the bridge space through various
expressive details. Colours were chosen to harmonise and complement the
blue sky and green trees, the neighborhood and the colour of the bricks.
A lamppost resembling an upright tree with luminous branches stands on the right bank; natural zelkova wood is used for support. The linear handrail stops here, contrasting with a soft line of the trunk. This tree is to be taken care of with affection for the material.
A 15-m pedestrian bridge might be small and seemingly insignificant. However, seen as a "free space" in a dense residential area where we can pause to gaze at the river and look up the open sky, it may play an important role.