Location: Brigde over the Mur
Planning partners: Bauchplan ).(, Landscapearchitectur and urbanism, Munich / Vienna, Michellerundschalk, Landscapearchitectur and urbanism, Munich
Projeckt coordination: Agnes Feigl, freiland – Environment consulting zt gmbh, Vienna / Graz
Bridge-renovation and statics: Wörle und Sparowitz engineers, Graz awarding authority
Design: Municipality Bad Radkersburg and Municipality Gornja Radgona
Renovation: Republic Slovenia and Land Styria
Realization: July 2009 till march 2010
Photos: Brane Bozic & bauchplan ).(
Bridges shape the European landscape and have become a symbol for an unified Europe. They are shown on the bills of the common currency. In flourishing times numerous connecting bridge constructions existed in the border area in between the former European West and East. Wars, demarcations and economic depressions reduced the number of these infrastructural constructions. Until World War I. the Mura Bridge in Radkersburg connected the fortified historic center on the Austrian side and the associated castle in present-day Slovenia to form a continuous urban landscape. The first concrete bridge connecting the two city districts was torn down by retreating German soldiers in 1945. The concrete bridge built in 1969 has now been redesigned.
The idea was to interpret the bridge not just as pure infrastructure but to develop it beyond its function as an urban joint to become an independent place in the sense of an usable public sphere. On top it is intended to foster an development towards the border river that has been avoided for many years.
The design concept lets the construction leap far into the two inner cities, providing specific city entrances and making the bridge become a link between the two Mura riversides by an optimized routing. The roadway widths of the highway are reduced in favor of additional space for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
On the downstream side of the bridge three pulpits stick out providing surprising views onto the Mura. On the other side of the bridge the sidewalk lowers into two balconies with roofed seating. Encounter zones are generated by the interaction of movement spaces and leisure areas. Historic visual links to the appealing silhouettes of the cities are reactivated and new views of the Mura are offered.
The transparently shimmering handrail abuts gently on the supporting structure like a light dress. The filigree infill of the handrail in form of a stainless steel wire netting emphasizes the exposure of the place in between the two states and institutes an interaction with the current of movement of the street and river. Steadily changing air currents move round tablets made of translucent plastic that are freely suspended to the netting. The shadows change depending on the wind strength and cast moving patterns onto the bright concrete surface. A light whirr provides a direct acoustic accompaniment to the street noise.
Depending on the insolation angle sunlight is reflected by close to 70.000 tablets so that the image of the former border bridge is constantly changing its appearance in interaction with the formative streams of movement.
During nighttime a horizontal, luminous arc is spanned across the river. Inside of the broad handrail a LED-bar is providing the illumination of the public space and conquering the aesthetic of the former border illumination.
The bridge is appreciated increasingly as an independent site and is used as an event area in case of transnational meetings and mutual ceremonies.