KARLOVY VARY, CZECH REPUBLIC
The design of the reconstruction of the Cheb Bridge was inspired by its original use. Historically, the bridge created a continuous connection between the two banks, which was intended primarily for pedestrian traffic. The bridge ensured the free flow of people from one part of the city to the other and thus connected Karlovy Vary. With the increase of car traffic, which became dominant on the bridge, the energy of the city was separated. This proposal aims to reconnect these energies by widening the bridge and prioritizing pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This will reconnect the two parts of the city and also make the lucrative riverfront land more attractive. In addition, the future planned use of the bridge for community events and connection with the embankments will create a focus of public interest.
The architects perceive the most important values of the existing bridge to be its historical value, its genius loci, and its importance to the residents who are familiar with the bridge and for whom the bridge is an important landmark and element of the city. It is therefore not only the historical value, but also the personal value.
The need to widen the bridge is therefore not solved by an extension that would overshadow one facade of the bridge, nor by an extension that would negate both facades and deny the logic of its tectonics. They propose to take down the inadequate and worthless top bridge deck and bring the new morphology closer to the original 19th century bridge. The intervention in the bridge is thus made here by completing it ‘from the inside’. The bridge will retain its values, which are perceived as the most important for the city’s inhabitants, despite its widening.
The modern intervention will only be apparent on closer inspection, when an unobtrusive architectural value is added to the bridge in the form of elliptical cut-outs in the pylons of the new structure. These create a remarkable view through the structure of the entire bridge, in distant views as if the bridge had never undergone any reconstruction.
Urbanism & Development
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic