Castleford Bridge scoops leading public space award
23 October 2009
The Castleford Bridge in Yorkshire, designed by McDowell and Benedetti Architects, has won the RIBA CABE Public Space Award.
The Bridge over Castleford Bay is greatly loved and enjoyed by the local community, who played a big role in its design. It is a great result from a great relationship between local people and the architect.
Channel 4 and Kevin McCloud devoted an hour of television to the bridge, the biggest undertaking in the project which aimed to regenerate the whole town.
The bridge makes a subtle S-bend as it spans the river and is set lightly on three V-shaped supports. The timber boardwalk has been elegantly detailed, with benches arcing out of its surface to provide seating heights for all ages.
Sarah Gaventa, director of CABE Space who sat on the judging panel, believes this bridge has succeeded in pushing the very definition of public space. “No one could have imagined before that a bridge could offer as much as a street, public square, or park. It is a true public space because it can be used and enjoyed by everyone.’
The award recognises the valuable contribution that a well-designed public realm makes to the quality of the built environment. The award was presented at the ceremony for the RIBA Stirling Prize.
The Castleford Bridge secured the prize above shortlisted schemes 5 Aldermanbury Square, London by Eric Parry Architects; Liverpool One Masterplan, Liverpool by BDP with landscape architects Pelli Clark Pelli and Gross Max; and New Street Square, London by Bennetts Associates.