The Dublin Millennium Bridge is a dynamic contemporary design; simple, lightweight, transparent and structurally daring, although fitting sensitively and comfortably into its prominent urban setting.
The truss is designed as an asymmetrical parabolic arch, the booms of which curve gently inwards in plan and section from the abutments on each bank. It has a gentle gradient to allow access to all. The sensuous shallow curves of the truss create a highly efficient structural solution, through which the distribution of forces in the bridge is clearly expressed. Terminating in the large concrete haunches contained within the shell abutments, the bridge structure is a simple, but very efficient, portal frame, permitting the use of very slender structural members, lending a sense of lightness and transparency.
The shape of the abutments responds to the movement of people on and off the bridge and the flowing river below. The curved, granite-clad concrete shells of the abutments are designed to act as spread waters to allow the smooth passage of water around them at all tide levels. From the quay wall, the pavement sweeps out over the river, opening up the bridge in width at each end to provide places to gather and wait before crossing the adjoining busy roads. The abutment parapets follow the precedent of the existing quay wall, stepping down the granite stonework in semi-circular sweeps to allow views through to the river and the new bridge.
Architectural commission as a result of international design competition 1998.
Client: Dublin Corporation.
Location: Dublin city centre
Completion: December 1999
Howley Harrington Architects, Partner in Charge:
Structural Engineers: Price & Myers, London
Main Contractor: Ascon Ltd.
Structural Steel Truss: Thompson Engineering
Precast Concrete Shells and Fins: Banagher Concrete
RIAI Award 2000
RIBA International Award 2000
Construction Excellence Award 2000