Peace Bridge scoops Waterways Renaissance Design Award

Sean Currie, Ilex, accepts the Waterways Renaissance Award for Design and Construction for the Peace Bridge from representatives of the Waterways Trust and Regeneration & Renewal magazine.
Sean Currie, Ilex, accepts the Waterways Renaissance Award for Design and Construction for the Peace Bridge from representatives of the Waterways Trust and Regeneration & Renewal magazine.

Derry’s Peace Bridge has scooped another prestigious design award.

At a ceremony in Birmingham at the weekend, the Peace Bridge won the Waterways Renaissance Award for Design and Construction.

The Waterways Renaissance Awards have been in existence since 2002.

The Design and Construction Award recognises innovative and elegant engineering solutions as well as cutting edge architectural developments. The successful projects demonstrate how the design integrates with the surrounding waterside context, and considers it as more than simply a setting.

The Peace Bridge was one of 29 projects to be short-listed for the awards which take into account projects that integrate appropriate design for the surrounding area while maximising opportunities for enjoying the waterway and connecting both sides of the river.

Sean Currie, Ilex’s Programme Manager, said the Peace Bridge has already become one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city.

“The Peace Bridge is attracting significant numbers of visitors to our city and, for those living here, it has become a landmark and a new icon for the city, both locally and internationally.

“We are honoured to receive this accolade from The Waterways Trust which recognises the excellence of the design and engineering expertise employed in the construction of the bridge.

“It is almost a year since it was officially opened and the fact that over 600,000 crossings have been recorded to date is a testimony to its success,” he said.

Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust, praised the design of Derry’s Peace Bridge.

“This is one of the most complex bridges ever designed and built. Its construction was an exemplar in partnership working as well as construction methods.

“This bridge offers more than just a means of getting from A to B - it unites two once divided communities and will help to transform the city. It is a very worthy winner,” he explained.

The Peace Bridge - which also recently won a commendation at the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Design Awards - physically and symbolically unites both sides of the River Foyle and is conceived as two distinct structural systems that work in harmony.

It’s viewed as a pair of identical curved suspension structures, each allied to opposing banks, in a fluid ‘S’ shaped alignment.

At the middle of the river, both structural systems tangibly overlap, boldly interacting to create a single unified crossing – a structural handshake across the Foyle and an embrace in the centre of the river.

The Peace Bridge measures 235 metres bank-to-bank (312 metres in total). Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the bridge runs from the Foyle Expressway behind Guildhall Square on to Ebrington Square, the new shared public space which was opened on Valentine’s Day at the former British army barracks.

To date, 600,000 people have crossed the Peace Bridge.