A new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians was opened in the south harbour area of Copenhagen in October last year.
Constructed over the Belvedere inlet - a narrow cut at the end of Frederiksholmsløbet - it connects Frederiks Brygge with Enghave Bryyge and completes a 13 kilometre circuit around the inner harbour for walkers, runners and cyclists and allows local cyclists to avoid heavy traffic on Vasbygade.
Designed by the architect SLA, this bridge is 25 metres long and is a generous width at 6 metres across.
The sides or parapets are formed with large but thin tabs of steel that appear to have been folded upwards at different angles so they are close to vertical at the centre of the span but drop outwards and downwards in stages until they are almost horizontal towards the banks. It feels as if the bridge is open and welcoming as you approach and then gradually encloses you and protects you as you cross before opening out again as you reach the far side.
This folding is reminiscent of origami, of course, but it also looks a bit like the effect you get as pages of a book drop open.
There are three folds … the first just up from the bottom to form vertical at the bottom where the panel is attached to the side of the deck of the bridge so the next part is angled out. Then there is a fold up to form a vertical section that is more pronounced towards the centre and then, except on the outer tabs, a fold for a narrow almost horizontal section outwards to make what is, at the centre, the handrail of the bridge.
There is a striking contrast between the colour of the outside of the parapet in deep shiny iron-oxide red - rather like a Chinese lacquer red - and a matt grey inner surface and deck that is rubberised to reduce noise and provide better grip for bike tyres.
Sydhavnen - South Harbour - is an extensive area of new and ongoing redevelopment below HC Ørstedsværket - the power station at the south end of the harbour. The bridge is actually temporary and will only be here for about eighteen months before a permanent bridge - designed by the architectural practice COBE - is built to cross Frederiksholmsløbet to connect Enghave Brygge and Teglholmen.