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One happily takes a look underneath

Contractor: Marti AG Basel

St. Alban is the green district of Basel and one of its most beautiful neighbourhoods. So why build a footbridge here of all places only on the basis of practical criteria? To produce a new crossing point, money was invested in ­extraordinary design and architectural ­concrete. This paid off.


Triaxially curved footbridge stands out due to its high architectural concrete quality

The St. Alban-Teich, which means St. Alban’s pond in English, is not, as the name would suggest, a body of standing water. Rather, the “Dalbedych”, as the inhabitants of the third-largest city in Switzerland call it, is a roughly 5 km long canal that was dug as early as the 12th century by St. Alban’s Monastery in order to power corn mills.

In the 15th and 16th centuries numerous mills were used to manufacture paper in order to supply the many book printers in the up-and-coming city. Later, the water power was used to produce energy. Today, the district of St. Alban is a modern, popular neighbourhood with extensive green space and a historical flair.

Triaxially curved crossing

The principal, Stadtgärtnerei Basel (the city’s parks and gardens department), commissioned the construction company Marti AG with the construction of the bridge superstructure. What was required was not, however, a classic pedestrian footbridge, but rather a architecturally attractive eye-catcher, a crossing subtly curved in three axes involving a combination of different architectural concrete requirements. Not only the people crossing over the bridge, which curves slightly as it crosses the water, find this charming structure fascinating. Also observers who walk down to the edge of the canal and let their eyes wander beneath the 23 m long and 3.50 m wide construction are mesmerized by its captivating design.

 

Smooth surfaces and grains

The team led by Armin Looser, construction foreman at Marti AG Basel, built the bridge without a hitch within the specified timeframe. MEVA
Switzerland was responsible for the formwork planning, and approximately 120 m² of special formwork designed for single use were produced using wood by Kiefer Schalungsbau. Among the things to be taken into consideration were installations for the pouring of drip edges as well as the use of supporting cleats with different heights to reliably transfer forces.

The type 5 architectural concrete, corresponding to the Swiss concrete surface finish class S, required a combination of various smooth surfaces and classic wooden lath style finishes with a visible grain. The project was executed according to the principal’s wishes, the planner’s specifications and the template image.

 

The special formwork was delivered in individual parts and our workers were able to assemble it quickly on the building site. The concrete was poured without problem. This testifies to optimum formwork planning on the part of MEVA. We completed the project on schedule and to the satisfaction of our principal.

Marti’s construction manager Armin Looser

 


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Contractor:
Marti AG Basel

Principal:
Stadtgärtnerei Basel

Project:
St. Alban-Teich pedestrian footbridge, Basel, Switzerland

Engineering and support:
MEVA Schalungs-Systeme AG, Seon, Switzerland


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