in london’s merchant square, a mixed-use waterfront site at paddington basin, a movable footbridge designed by knight architects has opened to the public. working alongside structural engineers AKT II, the cantilevered design spans 20 meters across the grand union canal connecting the development. using hydraulic jacks, the bridge is envisioned as a kinetic sculpture that opens in a way similar to that of a traditional japanese fan.
five fabricated steel beams form the deck of the structure, opening in a staggered sequence to achieve the required clearance height above the canal. shaped counterweights assist the bespoke mechanism and reduce the energy required to move the structure, with protected balustrades formed from twin rows of inclined steel rods. these handrails contain continuous LED downlighting that both illuminates the structure’s walking surface and presents a vibrant display of light