Pip Horne Studio

Thames Footbridge

The footbridge at Bloomers Hole is much more than a utilitarian connection or anonymous crossing. It is a place of separation and connection, county boundaries and footpaths….a place of contemplation and enjoyment.

These paradoxes are symbolised by a bridge constructed of two cantilevers reaching out from opposite sides that just ‘meet’…the point of transition being a simple step. One cantilever grows out of the earth in reinforced concrete, its surface sandblasted to resemble natural stone forming a gentle ramp with a profile to match the structural task and the other cantilever is lightweight, a tapering steel box section onto which large oak slabs are bolted to form a staircase. The concrete cantilever tapers in plan to allow a long oak bench…. its raised position addresses the view south over the water meadows and the setting sun.

The centreline of the bridge is twisted and the approaches turned to form a serpentine plan reflecting the river beneath it and its meanderings through the water meadows.

competition entry 1998