A collaboration between London-based Boele Architects and Berlin-based Buro Happold recently resulted in the winning of a competition for a new pedestrian bridge to be built in Sofia’s South Park, with construction scheduled to begin in late 2023. The park is a central element of the urban landscape of the Bulgarian capital, a public space but also an element with a strong positive effect on the city’s microclimate. In fact, it also serves as a green corridor connecting the flora and fauna of the Vitosha mountain and the metropolitan centre. Once completed, the bridge will provide a pedestrian promenade and a continuous cycle path along the entire length of the park, from the National Palace of Culture to the South Park III section – the largest, most biodiverse and most popular part of the park.
Characterised in plan by a curvilinear design, the bridge inclines gently upwards as it travels, fulfilling the requirements for free space on the Byala Cherkva and meandering through the park’s dense vegetation as it crosses the Perlovska River – at the highest points, above the treetops, the bridge offers a picturesque view of the Vitosha Mountain. The width of the bridge is also detailed to vary along its course, creating spaces where people can stop and enjoy their surroundings.
“South Park is a key recreational area for Sofia and we knew that our design had to remain humble, only reinforcing the beautiful context we were entering,” explains Petr Suma, founder of Boele architects. “We wanted to introduce a structure that was not only simple and functional, but also in complete harmony with its surroundings.”