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2012 National Architecture Awards: Urban Design

William Buckley Bridge, Barwon Heads by Peter Elliott Architecture & Urban Design Urban Design: National Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The William Buckley Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists was constructed parallel to a much-loved reconstructed timber road bridge, in the picturesque coastal town of Barwon Heads at the mouth of the Barwon River. The bridge relates sensitively to the existing structure and together they form a meaningful relationship with the landscape.

A new timber-decked entry plaza integrates the bridges with the township and foreshore and becomes the point of orientation prior to crossing the estuary or arriving at the edge of town.

The new pedestrian bridge is clearly differentiated from the road bridge, a contemporary concrete structure that is clad in timber, with a cross-section resembling a boat hull. The underside of the bridge has a complex warping geometry where timber battens delightfully rake and interlock to create visual interest and shadowing detail. Every element, material, junction and connection has been carefully crafted to respect the material and setting.

This new bridge offers much more than a crossing of the river — it has quickly become a link between the communities of Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. The emphasis on slow-paced traffic creates a public place where community members and visitors can promenade, fish, ride and pause to enjoy the new vistas at this beautiful setting on the Bellarine Peninsula.


Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Landscape architect VicRoads Landscape and Urban Design
Lighting Arup Melbourne
Services engineer Arup Melbourne
Structural and civil engineer Arup Melbourne
Timber auditor QA
Site details
Location Barwon Heads,  Vic,  Australia
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 2 Nov 2012
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2012
Images: Sean McPhillips, Aerial Impressions


Architecture Australia, November 2012

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