Dutch and Latvian architects and engineers win bridge competition in Estonia

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The bridge design named ’New Balance 100’ is to mark the occasion of Estonia’s centenary next year. An international team of plein06, Witteveen+Bos and Novarc Group has won the international design competition for an iconic, openable pedestrian bridge in the heart of the old harbour in Tallinn, Estonia. The design contest was held to mark the occasion of Estonia’s centenary next year. The Bridge Design Contest, Future Design and Construction will be co-funded by the EU. The planned completion date for the bridge is to be the end of 2018.

New Balance 100 is a cultural act, a piece of art and an innovative engineering structure. The presented bridge design was chosen because of the combination between a highly aesthetical form and innovative technical balancing solutions. The water reflects the skyline of Tallinn's city centre, which is captured by the symmetrical bridge sections. When opening its arms it creates an iconic view in which the bridge embraces residents and passengers. The bridge thus offers interesting views both in open as well as closed state.

The functional aspect of the bridge has become a spectacle of unique and innovative engineering. Especially noteworthy are the movable contra weights which are integrated in the design, but are also visible to the public. The bridge makes a smooth, wavy motion over the quayside when it opens and closes, in which the eye is not only focussed on her rolling movement, but also on the moving weights in her body parts. These weights move down when the bridge is slightly opening up and their counterweight shortens the moment of force. This technique allows for the bridge to keep itself balanced at all times, hence New Balance 100.

New Balance 100 is the country's first dynamic, movable bridge and thus a constructive and cultural choice of Estonia. The aesthetical and innovative solutions make the New Balance 100 a celebrated object in public space both in appearance and function. It is a perfect symbol to celebrate Estonia's centenary next year.