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Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 11:11:18 AM
Sleek and low: The designers were careful to ensure that the bridge did nothing to overwhelm the historic Hassan II Tower, shown here behind the viaduct. - Photos from Aga Khan Development Network
Rabat-Salé Urban Infrastructure Project, Morocco
Architect: Marc Mimram Architecture, Paris, France
MORE than just linking the two bustling cities of Rabat and Salé in Morocco, the Hassan II Bridge has become an icon for Rabat-Salé, reflecting a modern, progressive, twin-city identity.,
The project incorporates exemplary bridge design, infrastructure improvement, and urban planning. The over 800m-long bridge includes pedestrian and bicycle lanes, two triple-lane roads and two tramway tracks. The walkway offers scenic views of the cities and has become a popular destination in its own right. The tram carries thousands of commuters every day, helping to boost the local economy. Aside from allowing a better traffic flow between the two cities, the structure offers a roof over the alluvial plain of the Bouregreg River, creating a sheltered public space for markets and leisure activities.
The newly formed urban hub is meant to relieve both cities’ historic sites and population of air and sound pollution.
Staying true to the cities’ low horizons (there is an absence of high-rise buildings and hills), the bridge’s design allows Rabat’s 12th-century Hassan Tower to dominate the skyline. The project took advantage of local skilled craftsmen to form pre-stressed concrete to build a structurally strong bridge. Subtly varying arced concrete supports present a delicate and lace-like appearance.
The master jury commented: “In a context where big bridges tend to be destructive elements within a city’s structure and the landscape, a bridge that touches the ground lightly and seeks to create places for pedestrian activity stands out. The bridge connects society, both physically and metaphorically, and integrates public design, infrastructure and landscape.” – Leong Siok Hui
Subtly varying arced concrete supports present a delicate and lace-like appearance.
Architecture for the people wins Aga Khan award
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