Bridges, Pedestrian Bridges

Duke University West Union Bridge

© Reid Freeman, Architecture Operations DPC

The West Union building has been designed to be the center of campus activity for Duke University. To link this new building to the campus, schlaich bergermann partner helped create a lightweight footbridge that serves simultaneously as connection path, pavilion, and roof for a community pub below. The thin concrete bridge has a coffered deck that reduces weight and improves efficiency. The coffered voids incorporate prismatic glass to illuminate the voids and light the deck above. The slender columns supporting the bridge create a dynamic sense of rhythm to the space.

Durham, North Carolina, USA
Architecture Operations, New York; James Carpenter Design Associates, New York
Grimshaw (building design), Buro Happold (engineer of record)
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Michael Stein

Technical Data

Total length
160 ft / 49 m
Main span
16 ft / 5 m
24 ft / 7 m


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