Location: Prato, Italy | Client: Comune di Prato
Phase: International competition
Year: 2011
Design Team: OFL architecture, DOF Engineers, Daniele Molinari, Rocco Salomone, Marco Grimaldi

The Leopoldo II bridge has been designed by OFL architecture and DOF Engineers in close collaboration in order to deliver a new concept of footbridge. The occasion was the international competition issued by the Comune of Prato, that wanted to re-establish an existing path in the countryside linking the city with the ancient villa Medici of Poggio Caiano. Along this fascinating path, through nature and history, there was the famous Manetti bridge (called at the time Leopoldo's bridge), one of the first example of suspended bridge in Italy (built in 1833). The bridge was destroyed during the first World War and never replaced.

The concept behind our proposal was that some footbridges are not only meant to be links thought to go from one point to another in the quickest way possible; some of them can force the user to walk around, with no time pressure, looking the beautyness of nature and history.

For this reason an elliptical bridge has been designed, allowing the users of the bridge to walk around the ruins of the old bridge and to enrich their soul with the marvelous countryside of Tuscany.

The new design proposed is really challenging from a structural point of view forcing to deal with large torsional loads and complex dinamic behaviour; for this reason great attention has been made in the FEM analysis of the structure, bringing some static concepts from the naval engineering technology.




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