This proposal was one of the five finalists in the competition for Auckland City to design a bridge to link the Viaduct area with Jellicoe Street and beyond. It reconfigures the traditional idea of a bridge to incorporate the island as an integral part of the experience of crossing. The Bridge and Island work in tandem: the Bridge is about movement while the Island is about repose.
The Te Wero Bridge scheme is a collection of slim bascules: a set of four “fingers” operating from each side of the waterway. It is a unique and innovative design based on known technologies. All opening bridges move; but this eight finger bridge celebrates the movement.
The bridge offers delight by virtue of surprise. The event of opening is at the heart of this bridge: the dramatic movement from a sloping surface quietly spanning the water to a fanning bloom of eight separate fingers, which when open provides sculptural elegance and drama as it towers above the island to the equivalent height of a 10 storey building.
On the eastern (higher) fingers, the counterweights are below the deck. On the western (lower) fingers, the counterweights rise above the deck, creating fins through which people and vehicles pass. The sequence of spatial experiences offered to travellers by island and bridge is sophisticated and varied, and markedly different when travelling from the east or the west.
The beautiful movement of the elegant fingers raising and lowering suggested this bridge would become one of the most memorable bridges in the world.