A line in the landscape
Saint-Omer and the Neufossé canal’s quays have managed to preserve a remarkable architectural and landscape heritage. The town-centre’s streets, canals and houses form a coherent and harmonious whole.
Our ideas were influenced by this rich environment, aiming to preserve this delicate and peaceful setting. Being aware of the site’s heritage naturally led us to create a subtle and simple footbridge, which blends in with its environment.
The footbridge’s pure lines give it a contemporary, but timeless look. It endeavours to resemble a simple line in the landscape, or perhaps a little more than just a line, with its slightly thicker mid-span, reinforcing the structure and drawing a thin curve, whether viewed laterally or from above.
This delicate and simple shape makes all the difference:
- From an urban point of view, it symbolically marks a crossing, so often associated with an arch or a curve
- Architecturally, it creates tension between access to the structure and its ends, accentuating the magic of this footbridge which seems to be flying or supported by very thin elements
- And finally, structurally, it obviously provides inertia where it is needed
More than just a simple means to cross the canal, the footbridge acts as a work of art, and a unifying and symbolic element for the town.
The offset location with regard to the canal follows the town’s main axes, extending the main paths between the town-centre and the station district, like a pedestrian street.
Furthermore, its location places the footbridge at the western end of the Quai du Commerce, ensuring that cycle and disabled ramps do not look out of place, but rather, on the contrary, naturally follow the quayside.