The Victorian government has awarded BKK Architects the contract to design the $30 million redevelopment of Melbourne’s Swan Street Bridge.
BKK Architects pipped three other practices in a head-to-head contest to design the bridge, including John Wardle Architects, Sally Draper Architects and Watson Architecture and Design.
Swan Street Bridge traverses the Yarra River with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Shrine of Remembrance on the south side of the river and Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, Hisense Arena and the MCG on the north side. The bridge acts as a gateway to Melbourne’s entertainment and sporting precincts.
BKK Architects’ design draws inspiration from nearby landmarks such as the Arts Centre as well as rowers who travel up and down the river everyday.
The redevelopment of the bridge includes an additional traffic lane, and new separate shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians on both sides. The upgrade is aimed at reducing traffic congestion, improving safety and providing better access to the sports and entertainment precincts.
In May 2016, the government began community consultation for the urban design of the project and asked the community to share their stories of Swan Street Bridge to inspire architects and designers. Expressions of interest were sought, asking designers to consider nighttime lighting, artwork and architectural features of the barriers separating motorists from pedestrians and cyclists.
In June, VicRoads released the four proposed designs for public comment.
Construction on the redevelopment of the bridge is expected to begin in mid-2017.