The Tullhus Bridge

The Tullhus Bridge is a 1st prize winner in an invited architectural competition organized in 2008. This new bridge is located in Norrköping and takes pedestrians and cyclists from Strömsholmen to the north quay in the city centre. The bridge has been part of the urban planning already since the early 50’s, but it wasn’t until now, when the city begun building a new residential area around Strömsholmen, the plans were brought into effect. In 2008 the municipality invited Erik Andersson Architects to an architectural competition and the construction of the long awaited bridge, which will link the new area to the existing city centre, could begin in 2012 The 72 meter long bridge is constructed of steel and has an hourglass-shaped body tapering towards the center both in plan and section. The middle portion depth is 0.86 m. The bridge is painted in silver metallic and its shiny underside reflects the water in Motala Ström that has played a central role in the life of the city since the Middle Ages. A built-in hot-air system makes it possible to heat the bridge and keep it clear from snow in the winter. The first air-heated bridge in Sweden required a complicated construction process. It was prefabricated in one piece and, after welding and sandblasting, transported in one single piece 3 km through the streets of Norrköping before reaching the building site. The bridge connects two banks of distinctive character. On one side sits an old industrial dock, while a natural shoreline marks the other. The body consists of welded plates, which have been sandblasted and painted, while the walkway is draped by a layer of acrylate. The width of the walkway as well as the height of the beam increase towards the middle of the bridge. The beam height is 1.6 m at the supports and 0.86 m at the middle of the bridge. The bridge has vibration dampers to counteract vertical oscillations. The structure employs a welded hollow beam and 12mm thick plates covering the underside of the bridge. The handrails feature a built-in LED lighting system, illuminating the walkway and guiding pedestrians and cyclists over the snow-free bridge. The Tullhus bridge has won the Swedish Steel Prize 2013, won the European Steel Award 2013 and was nominated to the Kasper Salin Prize 2013.

Jury Evaluation

"In one single graceful form, the Tullhus Bridge soars from the quayside in the north to the lush Strömsholmen in the south. Entirely in steel both in its artistic expression and its construction; designed with a secure hand that unites architecture and construction with conviction. It is a tour de force in the difficult art of austerity. Every measure, every angle, every meeting between two plates is extremely simplified, thus highlighting the elegance of the design as a whole, which is impressive in a municipal construction project.

The simplicity also hides the cleverness. The challenging thinness in the visible leap of over 60 metres is made possible by the short side spans hidden inside the abutments, where the unusual air heating system also has been placed.

The Tullhus Bridge seems so self-evident. It finds its place in its context humbly, while at the same time speaking in an original, contemporary language – without shouting!"

Projectname: Tullhus Bridge

Type: Pedestrian bridge

Location: Norrköping, Sweden

Status: Completed

Client: City of Norrköping

Architect: Erik Andersson Architects

Collaborators: Ramböll, WSP, Lecor Stålteknik AB

Budget: EUR 2 million

Size: 72m. 125 tonnes

Photos: Åke E-son Lindman