This is an iconic bridge named “The Circle Bridge” that I discovered while travelling in Copenhagen. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson designed it and it was opened in 2015 which has become a much-loved Copenhagen landmark.
Located in a busy part of Christianshavn neighbourhood in Copenhagen, the Circle Bridge serves more than 5,000 pedestrians and cyclists per day, while allowing house boats and sailing boats to pass under. Achieving this is not as easy as it may seem given the relatively low height of the bridge, too low to allow conventional sized sailing or motor craft to pass under.
The Circle Bridge is made of five interconnected and irregularly sized circles which each features a tall mast in reference to the boats that sail Copenhagen's waterways. More than 100 tensioned wires are threaded between the base of the bridge and the tips of five poles. The central platform is articulated to allow the bridge to swing back on itself, creating a gap for passing boat traffic while smaller boats such as kayaks can pass below the elevated podiums.
The bridge also contributes to a larger circle that form a pedestrian route around Copenhagen Harbour, where people – cycling, running, walking – can see the city from a very different perspective. The bridge's zigzag design encourages pedestrians and cyclists to reduce their speed. The bridge provides a vantage point where people can take a short break, thus creating a new space between two urban areas rather than providing the fastest possible route across Christianshavn Canal. Red LEDs set in the balustrades illuminate the structure at night and are synchronised to turn on and off with the area's street lights.
The circle also refers to the compass, to orientation and to cartography. It suggests a dynamic navigation model which enables a renegotiation of the public space. In so doing, the bridge makes small changes to the way we perceive and experience the city.
I can see such introspection as an essential part of a vibrant city. The architecture design of Circle Bridge is incredible and you need to see it for yourself to believe!