Dubai Bridge, a signature feature of Dubai’s Jumeirah Gardens development, fuses structural expression, innovative use of materials and cultural referencing to create one of the most high-performing yet poetically evocative structures of its kind.
Softly molded in reinforced concrete into a form that suggests the skeleton of a whale from the nearby Arabian Gulf, the 41 meter-wide, 210 meter-long bridge rises to an apex of 14.5 meters above a canal and its twin pedestrian promenades. The structure is V-shaped in section, with five meters of structural depth in the central spine of the bridge supporting six vehicular lanes and tapering out to cantilevered pedestrian walkways on either side. The vehicular lanes and pedways are separated by an interstitial zone of 10-meter structural bays that resemble the vertebrae of the whale’s spine.
Overall, the bridge has a thin, light edge profile while still providing the substantial structure necessary to support the span. Intermediate support structures on either side of the canal help stabilize the bridge.
Unlike other signature bridges that make their grandest architectural gestures when viewed from a distance or from above, Dubai Bridge will make some of its strongest architectural statements to the pedestrians, cars and boats passing beneath it. Looking up at the structural bays, these viewers will be able to watch the play of light and shadow on the pristine white inner walls of the larger bays. The ever-changing shadows created by the sun shining through the geometric pattern of the steel mesh grating, inspired by Middle Eastern Mashrabiya latticework, are made even more dynamic by passing cars. The result will be an intimate, captivating relationship between the bridge and viewers from below.