Once the expansion of the Gösta Museum and landscape intervention in the park located on the shores of Lake Melasjärvi had begun, the opportunity arose to connect this park with the small island of Taavetinsaari located in the southeast area of the park. Formerly there had been a wooden bridge connecting these two points, but it collapsed a few decades ago, so it was necessary to respond to the need to integrate the island as an outdoor exhibition space and therefore complete the layout of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The new bridge has been placed in the same place occupied by the defunct walkway, at the end of the diagonal axis connecting the island with the Joenniemi Manor House. This axis was drawn as far back as the early twentieth century and is accompanied by a prominent tree line that was part of the original landscape design.
The main purpose of the design of the new bridge has been to integrate the structure into the landscape in a particularly sensitive manner and that its geometry responds to its structural logic.
To achieve integration in the landscape, the way that infrastructure touched the ground at both ends was carefully studied. The lake shore of the island is relatively higher than the shore side of the park, which has a smooth, descending terrain. To overcome the height difference and accentuate topographic features of the site, the bridge has been placed with a slight slope, emerging from the earth on the side of the park and perched lightly on the island terrain.
The geometry of the bridge, in addition to seeking the landscape integration, is a direct result of efficient structural design. The section of the bridge does not only change in its longitudinal part, being thicker at the base rising from the ground and thinner in the part that simply settles on the island, but also in the cross section where steel folds were studied to achieve the required stiffness. It is a section with four folds with just enough space left at the end to attach a balustrade on one side and a bench on the other.
The Corten steel used as a structural element, and welded to get a single piece without joints, also offers fine features and a subtly textured appearance in the landscape where it is placed. However, it was considered necessary to provide museum visitors a soft touch surface. For this reason the sides of the “balustrade-bench” have been designed in larch wood along its course at two different heights. The lower bench was fabricated by a three-dimensional carved balustrade allowing it to move into the centre of the bridge to comfortably accommodate a group of visitors who wish to sit and stop to look at the landscape.