Curved pedestrian bridge links two riverfront parks in Providence

US architecture firm Inform Studio and Buro Happold have designed a curved and stepped wood-covered pedestrian bridge to link two parks in Providence, Rhode Island.

Spanning 394 feet (120 metres), the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge connects new green spaces on the east and west sides of the city’s riverfront. The design also incorporates five existing piers along the Providence River.

Built with a steel superstructure, the curvaceous form is clad in modular panels of Wana wood, also known as Red Louro. In addition to its durability and resistance to rot, the South American hardwood was chosen for its use in boat building in order to evoke Providence’s maritime past.

Detroit’s Inform Studio, which worked with global engineering firm Buro Happold on the project, said the wood has “old-world character and warmth”.

“With modern innovations, this exceptionally versatile material was used to capture formal characteristics reminiscent of historical ships while simultaneously transitioning into an innovative contemporary solution,” it added.

Inform Studio also collaborated with Brooklyn-based SITU Fabrication to develop the modular panels of the wood, which wraps both sides of the bridge like a curved shell. The exterior comprises 250 demountable panels. Wood is also used for benches and the floor.

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