Located in a densely vegetated site in Lake Austin, this pedestrian bridge connects the main house in the property with a newly-constructed guest house.
With a design inspired by the reeds and other native vegetation that cover the shores of the lake, this bridge is a light and maintenance-free structure integrated in its beautiful wetland setting. The bars/reeds intertwine at the abutments and “grow” over the bridge, camouflaging it and turning into a symbiotic, almost invisible link.
The arch structure spans 100 feet with a main span of 80 feet. It is composed of five nested five inch diameter pipes that diverge gracefully between the spring-point of the main span and the abutment at the beginning of the bridge.
The pipes support 1/2” diameter bars which become both decking and guardrail with a simple field bend from horizontal to vertical. The irregular length and close spacing of the bars recall the native reeds of the site, and the thin profile of the superstructure is made thinner when viewed through the visual veil of the reeds.
The hand rail consists of a rope secured with steel wire rings to a 1×1 horizontal tube welded to the vertical bars. To further integrate the bridge in its natural setting the steel is left unfinished to weather, just like the rope handrail and the stone ramps.
Miró Rivera Architects
© Paul Finkel
Austin, TX, USA