Úlfarsfell river crossing and pedestrian/equestrian underpasses

Ufarsá is a small river that meanders through a wide wetland valley separating the neigbourhood of Borgarholt from the new developments on the flanks of Úlfarsfell hill. The valley is important as a wildlife corridor and a recreation area and is traversed by many foot and bridle paths.

The project was to reduce the impact of the new road crossing the valley while allowing the free movement of cars, pedestrians and horses. There are three main elements, a road and footbridge over the river, a pedestrian underpass to the north and to the south a pedestrian and equestrian underpass.

The bridge is the most significant structure arching over the river in a single broad span. The road is at a high level and the footpath follows the underside of the arch. Green oak logs screen the cars from pedestrians with a rustic quality that mellows the noise and speed whereas the handrail to the river is in machined stainless steel to reflect the water’s sparkle. These simple, robust devices are used to similar effect in the underpasses.

With time the wood and concrete will change colour so that they are almost indistinguishable from one another and as lichen and moss occupy the structure it will eventually become as one with its environment.

Client : City of Reykjavík
Architects : Studio Granda
Structural Engineers : Línuhönnun
Contractor : Eykt

Further reading...

On site 24.07.05