Leeds-Liverpool Canal Footbridge

  • Location: Manchester
  • Programme: 2006
  • Client: Sefton Borough Council
  • Contract Value: £300 000

Unlike some recent examples, this canal bridge was not intended to be an engineering tour-de-force. The bridge was to become a new landmark purely by the use of light, creating a magical modern landscape which people would pass through as they crossed the canal.

Taking inspiration from the reed beds on the canal, the ramps and approached were to be ‘seeded’ with artificial carbon fibre reeds emerging from stainless steel follicles. The reeds had solar-powered LED light pods at their tips all at the same datum 6m above towpath level. These reeds would bend and flex in the breeze and under live loads on the bridge, creating a display of dancing firefly lights at night.

Finalist RIBA Competition 2006