Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d’Arquitectura

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d’Arquitectura

Ter Flood Bridge in the Manlleu River / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor Photography, Waterfront, GardenFlood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photographyFlood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photographyFlood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photography+ 11

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photography
© Andres Flajszer

Text description provided by the architects. The main objective of the project is to become a catalyst for leisure, culture, sport and education activities around the bed of the Ter in Manlleu. The objective can be explained by three basic strategies:

The first is a territorial logic valuing river beds as areas of landscape interest. The second is the urban strategy, consolidating the recreational-cultural green axis tangent to the river. And the third is the technical solution, a very specific action with low environmental impact.

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Image 7 of 11
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THE TERRITORIAL LOGIC, THE INTER-COMMUNICIPAL SCALE: THE RIVER BED. The project pursues the objective of recovering the activity of the riverbeds. Riverbeds, by definition, have always been magnificent ecotones, that is, spaces that live from the ecosystem of the river itself and that immediately adjacent; the intermediate spaces. These regions have great landscapes and environmental richness. Crossing the urban centers, they were abandoned, channeling the river and forming a barrier between flood-prone and non-flood-prone areas. The proposal is based on the belief that if we return activities to these places and blur the border between the river and the city, we will enrich them, thus promoting maintenance and a sense of belonging.

Ter Flood Bridge in the Manlleu River / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor Photography, Waterfront, Garden
© Andres Flajszer

THE MUNICIPAL LOGIC, THE URBAN STRATEGY: A GREEN AXIS. Manlleu lived from and thanks to the river: agricultural and industrial activity benefited from the route of the Ter. If we analyze the urban structure, we see that during a period of great urban development, the city turned its back on the river. In recent years, the area has been promoted based on free spaces, cultural facilities and sports areas. Thus, a new leisure-cultural axis appears tangent to the river on the left bank. It is an axis that must be strengthened. An axis that begins at the Renfe station, in the far west, and continues through the sports area, the playgrounds and the Paseo del Ter until it reaches the Ter museum, in the far east . Right here, where there is a kiosk and a small jetty for kayaks, the course of the river meanders and generates a large meadow of about 30 ha on the right-hand bed.

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photography
© Andres Flajszer

The main objective of the project is to allow the jump from the left riverbed to the right, leading to a whole recreational-cultural axis in a vast area until now residual. Manlleu thus gains 30,000 m2 of free space. A space full of possibilities, from the purely contemplative (walking in the meadow is a luxury) to the sporty (creation of new natural spaces for the practice of a sport that respects the environment). Educational activities can also be promoted, almost as an extension of the Ter Museum, an open-air museum where not only the importance of the river and the ecosystems that surround it can be understood and explained, but also its heritage value.

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photography
© Andres Flajszer

CONSTRUCTIVE LOGIC AND TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS. Among all the possibilities, a passallis footbridge is chosen, because they are infrastructures with low environmental impact. A “passallis”, by definition, is a floodable element. They are therefore artifacts naturally integrated into the dynamics of the river. The project proposes a series of concrete platforms that evoke the old steps of the river where you could go from one bed to another by jumping from stone to stone.

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Image 9 of 11
Section

The geometry meets the specific needs of the river environment and there is therefore no formalism but an effective response to hydraulic and functional requirements. Concrete walls 25 cm thick, perpendicular to the flow of the river, spaced 2.25 m apart, guarantee the hydraulic capacity for the average daily flow. Above, 10cm deep cantilevered concrete platforms of 1.5m x 3.95m minimize the impact on flow. The platforms do not touch each other and, in this way, the work remains open, improving the hydraulic behavior of the “passallis” in episodes of major water outpourings. Between platform and platform are the metal rails which, in addition to providing the necessary accessibility to the passage even for service vehicles, facilitate maintenance since they are removable.

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Image 8 of 11
Floor plan

Passing from one bed to another, the pedestrian finds himself outside the comfort zone of the urban ecosystem and, without protection, becomes aware of the force of the river. The sound of water touching the walls, the humidity and the change in temperature contribute to feeling immersed in the river ecosystem.

Over the years, the flood-prone bridge will evolve: the color of the concrete will change depending on the water levels, the walls will show scars of stones and trunks caused by episodes of different floods of water, and the frame metal will darken due to solar radiation. Thus, the “passallis” will be transformed, like the banks of the river bed, into an ecotone: a transition zone between two ecosystems, the urban and the river.

Flood bridge Ter in the Manlleu river / Sau Taller d'Arquitectura - Outdoor photography
© Andres Flajszer

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