Project Architect / Lead Partner
Paddington Basin Development Corporation
DJW Consulting, Gardiner & Theobald, Mace, Montagu Evans, Primary Fluid, Littlehampton Welding, Ron Packman, Solent Fluid Power, SKM Anthony Hunts, Power
Transport + Infrastructure
The Rolling Bridge spans an inlet off the main canal in London’s Paddington Basin. Whereas most opening bridges break apart to let boats pass through, the studio wanted to design a bridge that would get out of the way instead, using a softer mechanism to transform itself by mutating rather than fracturing. Taking initial influence from the fluid, coiling tails of the animatronic dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, the studio evolved the design to create a bridge that rolls up until its two ends join together to make a circle. The simple, self-contained structure, fixed only to one bank, rolls up to become a freestanding sculptural object, leaving nothing behind on the other side. Powered by hydraulic fluid, the steel mechanism is so quiet as to be almost spooky.
(© Heatherwick Studio)