Rice Francis Ritchie (RFR) was commissioned by Kisho Kurokawa to help design and realise the Japan Bridge.
This pedestrian bridge crosses a 7 lane highway at la Defense, Paris, linking two office buildings – Le Tour Pacifique and Kupka, the former designed by Kisho Kurokawa.
The initial idea and red colour was inspired by traditional Japanese bridges which gives the basis of the curve of the arch which is sensed by the pedestrian.
The structure solution developed by RFR is based on an under tensioned double arch. The two arches are inclined towards each other, touching at the centre, each consist of a welded triangular section, with the tension member following the parabolic curve of the arch.
Where the suspension rods meet the tension member, the node accepts a compression tube which separates each main tension member and creates the base from which the pedestrian deck is supported.
The deck is a triangulated horizontal beam, with prefabricated concrete panels, and is covered with a naturally ventilated glass enclosure. The glass panels are held in stainless steel arch frames.