To Cross the Seine
by Henry Bardsley
A new pedestrian bridge, "Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir," now undulates across the Seine in Paris. It is the creation of Feichtinger Architectes with consulting engineers RFR, where I work, and Sepia.
Although the overall geometry of the 885-foot- (270-meter-) long structure is reminiscent of traditional Parisian bridge forms, the three "ribbons" of the deck follow the two opposing curves of an innovative truss form. The central deck and the two flanking decks alternately rise and descend asymmetrically from the quaysides.
The formal structure is a "pectinate lenticular" truss — lens-shaped with a comb-like web structure — strongly differentiated in its booms for tension and compression. Where the truss is structurally deep in mid span, the ribbons cover sheltered areas with views out over the river.
Despite having one of the longest spans in Paris, the structure is so light that the impression it gives is one of interconnecting paths rather than a canonical structure.
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The footbridge "Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir," by RFR and Feichtinger Architectes, undulates across the Seine in Paris.
The bridge under construction.
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