As part of a plan to improve transportation links in Reykjavík, a competition was held for the design of two bicycle/pedestrian bridges over the rivers Elliðaár. These bridges were to cross the rivers at their estuary, extending across a small peninsula used mostly by dog walkers. For most people, the area is a hidden gem in the city, with great views over the ocean towards the Esjan mountain range.

In order to avoid disrupting the area’s vista and natural habitat, our proposal imagines concrete bridges with their main structural elements hidden underground on each river bank, with the help of a specialised building technique. The cross section is in the shape of a vertebral column which tapers towards the centre of the bridges, using as little visible concrete as possible. The bridges bend slightly in the plan in order to make them more dynamic in appearance and to connect them smoothly to the pathways.

Our choice of material is inspired by the raw, industrial areas on both sides of the bridges. The floor is made of concrete and the balustrade from weathering steel. To add a touch of softness and warmth, the handrail is crafted from hardwood with built-in LED lighting. Between the two bridges is an area for resting as well as a viewing platform for pedestrians, including a picnic table and barbecue facilities. This area, which is slightly buried into a slope in the land, is made of the same material as the bridges.


Andri Gunnar Lyngberg Andrésson, Guðni Valberg, Jón Davíð Ásgeirsson


EFLA Engineers, Ólafur Axelsson, Dýri Guðmundsson


Elliðaár, Reykjavík, Iceland


City of Reykjavík


Two Pedestrian Bridges and a Pit Stop