A Texas Pedestrian Bridge’s Design Expresses Community

Volkan Alkanoglu Design’s pedestrian bridge, Drift, has an elegant simplicity that belies its disruptive nature. The 62-foot timber and steel structure, which bends in ways reminiscent of driftwood, spans a creek bed in a Fort Worth neighbourhood.

A Pedestrian Bridge in Texas Expresses the Idea of Community In Its Design  - Metropolis

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The project, commissioned by Fort Worth Public Art, could have been as straightforward as building a bridge and adding ornamental elements. However, Alkanoglu, founder of his namesake firm, saw a greater opportunity: “I envisioned this as a project that could spark a new way of thinking about how we enhance specific places and their communities,” he recalls.

The designer opted for what he refers to as “plug-and-play urbanism,” a strategy in which infrastructure components are constructed off-site and then dropped into place. “We didn’t have the budget for scaffolding, which means the bridge has to be built twice,” Alkanoglu explains. “So we attempted to be innovative and simply asked ourselves, what can we do with only one bridge?”


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The solution incorporated both traditional and computational design techniques. Drift was fabricated in Indianapolis off-site and features a steel armature clad in CNC-cut and flip-milled timber planks.


Drift Bridge / Volkan Alkanoglu | ArchDaily

Each plank was custom-cut and then stack-laminated to create a unique shape. The completed bridge was transported to Texas using an oversize truck and crane-lifted into place.

Due to the bridge’s minimal on-site construction, the bridge had a negligible impact on the creek and its surrounding community.

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It is not simply something that mends the community. When we visited recently, a number of people expressed how the bridge has encouraged them to walk more, Alkanoglu explained.

Drift’s curved shape adds stability and features a concave hull with railings and benches. “Considering the current condition of infrastructure and civic places in the United States, I’m thinking about how we can potentially use this process to upgrade, update, and enhance those spaces,” Alkanoglu continues.

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