In simplistic terms, the proposed bridge connects two banks together separated by a river. The notion of a habitable bridge complicates this process and requires the structure to respond to an array of social factors. The random selection of a Plastic Surgery Clinic and an Organic Butcher Shop began a difficult process of designing a form that successfully unites these two very individual programs.
There is an element of repulsion associated with these programs. Plastic surgery and the butchering of meat both involve the manipulation of flesh, which to many people can be considered gory. With the growing demand for ‘organic’ butcher shops and the ethical practice of plastic surgery, the ambition for this project is to expose both in the best light possible.
A historical influence is the shopping arcade/mall. This helped develop the circulation in the bridge by inspiring ways in which the plan could become maze-like and appropriate for displays and shops. After researching organic butcher shops, a common trend was a three-step process where the meat is hung, cut and packed. When the process is done carefully and correct, the consumer receives the best quality meat. The bridge therefore accommodates this process by having a distinct flow from abattoir to display, to cutting and finally packaging.
The structure of the bridge evolved from the initial strategies of a portal frame system. With the consideration of how both programs should work separately and together, the structure needed to go further in aligning the desired circulations in plan and elevation. The final structure explores layers of transparency with the glass panels and overlapping steel beams. The curved beams create public and private spaces. Pedestrians have the choice to move through and see everything from a distance, or enter into the programs.