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Dukes Meadow Footbridge, Chiswick

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

Moxon Architects restores Thames-side path with a harmonious, prefabricated walkway that minimises its footprint and wins a 2024 RIBA London Award

Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy

2024 RIBA London Award

Dukes Meadow Footbridge, Chiswick
Moxon Architects for London Borough of Hounslow
Contract value: Confidential 
GIA: 475m2

The Dukes Meadow Footbridge regenerates a previously disconnected stretch of path by the Thames in Chiswick. The new 115m-long bridge seamlessly links two existing sections of the path whilst respectfully sitting under the 1895, Grade II-listed Barnes Railway Bridge. The design not only navigated constraints including rowing traffic, but also carefully considered the feasibility of construction. Structural members were meticulously sized to maximise off-site prefabrication and use the river itself for transportation and installation, avoiding the use of a crane. From the opposite bank, the footbridge integrates harmoniously with the landscaped banks, with its meandering form sitting lightly above the water level. Just a few discreet piers support the structure, minimising its footprint on the tidal zone. Four slender truss sections delicately hug the shoreline and Brunel’s historic railway bridge, while ensuring this still has sufficient maintenance access.

  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Aerial Essex
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Aerial Essex
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Aerial Essex
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Aerial Essex
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
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Structural trusses were delivered via the river, using the tidal patterns to facilitate installation. This construction technique, coupled with innovation in material specification, led to a 30% reduction in the footbridge’s overall carbon footprint. The use of energy-efficient lighting and durable materials further underscores the commitment to sustainability, promising longevity for generations to come.

As you walk across the bridge, it is obvious that it has been designed with inclusivity in mind. The structure can accommodate a diverse range of users, including those with wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs, ensuring better-lit and safer access. Additional width is also provided on the curved turns, allowing for pause points to enjoy the view of the river. Angled bracing members enhance and maximise oblique views and create a play of light, further integrating the structure into its surroundings. A new vantage point has also been created looking onto Dukes Hollow nature reserve, one of the few remaining natural tidal habitats in London.

  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
    Dukes Meadow Footbridge. Credit: Simon Kennedy
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Despite numerous design challenges such as proximity to the listed bridge and accommodating rowing traffic, the footbridge stands as a testament to thoughtful design and sustainable engineering solutions. Its long gestation period attests to the dedication and meticulous planning involved in bringing this community-enhancing project to fruition.

See the rest of the RIBA London winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Knights Brown Construction
Structural engineer/principal designer COWI
Services engineer BWE Electrical Contractors
Steelwork contractor McNealy Brown

 

Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd
Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd
Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd
Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd

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