The design vision for Lille Langebro was for an elegant bridge which enhances the waterfront and confirms the city’s reputation as the world’s best for cycling. At 160m long, the bridge follows an elegant curve which aligns with the great arc of ramparts and moat of Christianshavn. Cycle traffic on the adjacent Langebro road bridge has increased dramatically since 2008. A central part of the brief was to significantly improve the safety and experience for this high volume of traffic. Lille Langebro brings cyclists away from its neighbouring bridge through providing an alternative route for over 10,500 cyclists and pedestrians combined daily.
The concept design team includes WilkinsonEyre with URBAN AGENCY, BuroHappold, Eadon Consulting, NIRAS and Speirs + Major. The team was appointed in 2015 by Realdania By&Byg, with the contractors Mobilis Danmark, Hollandia Infra I/S and SH Group, joining the design team in 2016. Work began on site in 2017 and the bridge was ready for use by Copenhagen’s residents and visitors in August 2019.
Three key ideas characterise the concept and identity; firstly the bridge’s horizontal alignment extends the sweeping arc of the city’s historic ramparts to the southeast, which are otherwise not apparent when viewed from this part of the city. To the northwest, clear axial views of the town hall clock tower help users orientate themselves relative to the city. Secondly, the structure is arranged as a triangular wing at each deck edge, defining a very acute edge that divides light from shade. This edge dips below the deck at the abutments and soars up above the deck at midspan creating a further elegant line. Thirdly, and unexpectedly, the curved profile of the bridge only becomes broken when the two swinging sections open for marine traffic.
The bridge incorporates cutting-edge design with unique technical solutions. While delivering an elegant design, the function of Lille Langebro as a swing bridge remains entirely concealed. The motors and slewing rings are housed within the hollow bridge piers, whilst hydraulically operated mechanisms are housed in cavities inside the outer deck members. In order to maintain a slender profile in elevation, a moment connection joins the moving parts together at midspan. Enlarged chambers are provided adjacent to the moment connection to accommodate the hydraulic rams and associated mechanical parts. The innovative central moment connection was fundamental in achieving the structural depth demanded by the architectural concept of a sweeping, low level structure.
Environmental and social sustainability was addressed and considered throughout all stages of design and construction. Our approach delivers a 100-year design life, creating resilient infrastructure with an extended life span and ensuring the highest levels of material quality for the client and the city’s residents. LED lighting has been installed across the length of the bridge, creating a ribbon of light between abutments, ensuring low levels of operational carbon and providing access at night. Additionally, the horizontal swing opening mechanism reduces energy usage compared to other methods as there is no need to overcome gravitational pulls.
Lille Langebro has become a sculptural object in Copenhagen’s landscape, establishing itself within the context of the city and Inner Harbour. The surrounding spaces have been revitalised to provide new public space and encourage social interactions with the cityscape. The crossing has created an elegant piece of infrastructure which fits within its historic surroundings. Lille Langebro has successfully responded to the client’s vision to create a high-quality transport link that exists subtly and elegantly and is loved by both locals and visitors to Copenhagen.
The design vision for Lille Langebro was for an elegant bridge which enhances the waterfront and confirms the city’s reputation as the world’s best for cycling. At 160m long, the bridge follows an elegant curve which aligns with the great arc of ramparts and moat of Christianshavn. Cycle traffic on the adjacent Langebro road bridge has increased dramatically since 2008. A central part of the brief was to significantly improve the safety and experience for this high volume of...
- Status Completed works
- Type Bridges and Roads / Bridges and Walkways / Cycle Paths