Completed in 2006, the ‘Simone de Beauvoir’ footbridge across the river Seine is one of the most striking new structures in Paris and in 2007 was awarded the coveted ‘European Steel Design Award’. Jakob supplied the stainless steel nets for the balustrade infill on the bridge, delivering an attractive, cost-effective and safe solution.
Designed by architect Dietmar Feichtinger, the new €21m bridge, situated in the Eastern part of the city, is the 37th bridge to cross the Seine, connecting the Parc de Bercy on the north bank with the National Library on the south. At 19 meters wide and 304 meters long, it crosses the river with a span of 194 meters – without pillars. Its elegant design incorporates a combination of arch and suspension features, giving the structure a wave-shaped silhouette. Pedestrian access to the bridge is at two different levels, creating a double path that follows the gentle curvature of the supporting structure. At both points where the two opposing curvatures of the bridge cross, pedestrian can choose between two paths – one offering a panoramic view of the city and the other closer views of the river.
Jakob Webnet provided the perfect solution for the balustrade infill. The filigreed Webnet is not only a perfect match for the structure but with a diameter of just 3mm, the stainless steel rope is also subtle enough not to interfere with the contoured design of the bridge. However, in addition to its aesthetic advantages, Webnet also delivers a range of performance benefits – it is resistant to anything but the most severe acts of vandalism, provides a long service life and is virtually maintenance free. The long customized Webnet sections were installed on site by a local steelwork contractor under the supervision of a Jakob engineer.
For the Parisian bridge builders, Webnet was the perfect solution, combining aesthetic, economic, and safety-related advantages.
Owner: City of Paris
Architect: Feichtinger Architects, Paris, France
General Contractor: Eiffel Construction SA, Colombes, France
Metal-working Company: SNST, Saint Genis Laval, France
Stainless Steel Webnet: Jakob Switzerland, www.jakob.ch