The Sölvesborg Bridge was ranked as one of the ten most interesting bridges in the world in 2013. The bridge is the longest bicycle and pedestrian bridge in Europe and it has attracted special attention for its spectacular lighting design.
Connecting urban life and nature
The Sölvesborg Bridge reaches across the bay of Sölvesborg, connecting the center of this Swedish town with a recently built residential area. Due to its spectacular design and lighting the Sölvesborg Bridge has provided the residents of Sölvesborg as well as tourists with a new location of interest. People go for a walk or ride their bikes here, stop to look at the birdlife or have a picnic on the bridge – some even go fishing. In other words, the bridge now forms a connection between urban life and nature – and it is the new landmark of the town.
The bridge consists of a high section, formed from three characteristic vaults, and a long wooden bridge for pedestrians. Due to the length of the bridge, natural elements such as trees or reeds have been accentuated with light at intervals along the way. Lighting is integrated into one of the railings along the length of the bridge. The impressive vaults are lit with coloured light, and a subtle light underneath the bridge creates reflections in the water.
The bridge is situated in a natural area with a large bird population. Therefore, the lighting has been designed with great respect for birdlife and it is inspired by the migration of birds throughout the year. To give the bridge a unique night time look, colour changing luminaries have been used. The light can be controlled to avoid disturbing the wildlife and the character of the bridge can change over the year and the night. A number of scenarios can be used for different events in the city.
The concept behind the lighting design is to transform the bridge into a landmark during the dark hours, while respecting the environment in which it is located. To prevent a barrier effect the fixtures are mounted on the outside of the bridge, with a glare shield to hide the light sources. As several light scenarios can be selected, the bridge bridge is perceived as dynamic – almost a living organism in its environment.
Sölvesborg Bridge is in top 10 bridges in the world
Designboom is the world’s premier digital architecture and design magazine, and runs an influential and well renowned blog. Its focus is on news and key issues in the fields of architecture, design, technology and art. Each year, Designboom lists the top 10 bridges in the world. In 2013 the Sölvesborg Bridge was named among the most spectacular bridges in the world, and lauded for its unique lighting design that enhances its landmark status.
Facts about the project
Client: Municipality of Sölvesborg Location: Sölvesborg, Sweden
Status: Completed 2013
Type: Buildings & Landmarks Photographer: Olof Thiel
Article from ÅF Lighting designers.