© VA Render

© VA Render

UN Studio, in collaboration with Buro Happold Engineering, has won an international competition for the design of a new bridge spanning the River Danube in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Their scheme will serve as a blueprint for the “Galvani Bridge” connecting South Buda and Csepel, balancing graceful aesthetics with strong performance.

The competition for the bridge was conceived with the goal of decreasing the 600,000-strong daily traffic load on existing bridges across the Danube by 40,000. As well as easing traffic congestion, the bridge is intended to embody a liveable, loveable, healthy image of 21st-century Budapest. 


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© VA Render

© VA Render

© VA Render

The UN Studio scheme comprises a 1640-foot-long (500-meter-long) two-pylon stayed girder bridge, combining a road, tram, pedestrian and cycle crossing. The proposal seeks to act as a gateway to the city, while not impinging on its environment. By avoiding overpass structures on the off-ramp, and the fixture of lighting along gates and piers, the scheme sits elegantly in the landscape while maintaining a human-friendly scale.

It was essential that the bridge would be in harmony with Budapest – which owes much of its configuration to the surrounding landscape – and its future vision. It was also important that the bridge enables unobstructed views below and above the bridge deck. We wanted it to operate as a clear gateway to the city, like an inviting gesture of hands.
-Ben van Berkel, Founder, UN Studio




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© VA Render

© VA Render

© VA Render

The scheme’s pylons are crafted from steel and finished in a white sheen, creating a blank canvas activated by the ever-changing hues and colors of the natural surroundings. A 720 foot (220 meter) main-span cable system offers unobstructed views across the urban landscape while also introducing a new structural typology to the city.


West section. Image Courtesy of UN Studio

West section. Image Courtesy of UN Studio

East elevation. Image Courtesy of UN Studio

East elevation. Image Courtesy of UN Studio

Out of 17 submitted entries, a joint-second place prize was awarded to a consortium of Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner, Zaha Hadid Architects, Werner Consult and Smoltzcyk & Partner, and the consortium of Lavigne & Chéron Architects, Bureau d’Etude Greisch, Közlekedés Consulting Engineers and Geovil.

While the consortium containing Zaha Hadid Architects is responsible for the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, the Lavigne & Chéron Architects consortium is known for their Terenez Bridge in France.

News via: UN Studio

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