Grimshaw win contest for bridge across the river Garonne

3 March 2022
  • Grimshaw
  • Grimshaw



New connections planned for pedestrians and cyclists in Toulouse

Toulouse Metropole has announced the winner to design the city’s new Rapas pedestrian bridge, with first prize awarded to Tenderstream member Grimshaw in partnership with Eiffage, Ingerop, ppa.architectures, ATP and Quartiers Lumières. The structure is one of two new bridges proposed by the contest, intended to connect pedestrians and cyclists to the regenerated Ile de Ramier ― the new ‘green lung’ for the city, situated on the river Garonne.

The bridge spans 160-metres across the river, linking directly to the embankment on the city side with access to the river promenade and cycle route. On the island side, the bridge descends into the park via a sloping concrete ramp and stairway, designed to mitigate against potential flooding from the river.

Appearing to emerge from the island, the bridge provides uninterrupted views of the old town to the north and the Pyrenees to the south. A 60-metre inverted V-shaped steel mast supports the cable-stayed bridge, while visually defining the structure. This functional simplicity extends to the material selection for the bridge:  the steel mast supports a five-metre wide metal deck and balustrade. By night, controlled lighting creates a safe, accessible passage for users and sets the new city route into the surrounding natural and urban context on either side of the river.

The bridge will act as a catalyst for the future Ile de Ramier redevelopment, which includes the redesign of the former Parc des Exposition site, as well as providing pedestrian, car-free access to the existing Art Deco Nakache swimming pool and stadium. 

Alice Barrois, associate principal at Grimshaw and architect lead for the project, stated: “We are delighted to be collaborating on the design of Rapas pedestrian bridge, and to be part of the renewal of Ile de Ramier as the centre for leisure, sports and reconnection with biodiversity in the city. Our intent is for the bridge to become immediately part of the rich architectural character of Toulouse and contribute to connecting the wonderful spaces across the Ile de Ramier and the city centre through active travel.”

Construction is due to start in July 2022.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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