3XN has designed the master plan for a new and attractive part of Mandal in Norway, which contains both the cultural centre "Buen" and a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting the cultural centre with the other side of the river.
The steel bridge's soft and elegant movement interacts with the materials and shape of the cultural centre and binds the city's two parts together. The bridge acts as a life line for the cultural building, providing the only connection to the town itself.
Both the bridge and the cultural centre have a white and light expression, which corresponds to the surrounding area’s white wooden houses, picturesque narrow streets, water, beach and forest.
The bridge has a slight curve and two pockets, which invite users to stop and relax. In this way, the bridge is intended as a social meeting place where the view of Norway's southernmost city can be enjoyed to the fullest.
The bridge’s elegant form belies its robust construction. The tidal Mandal River has a strong current in warm months and frequent ice floes in winter. 3XN designed the bridge to balance graceful form with a structure strong enough to withstand its natural setting.
Everything leads from the river, which was the motivation for the initial formation of the town itself over 100 years ago. Artist Maria Koolen Hellmin was inspired by 3XN’s design of the cultural centre, which she thought resembled a fish, and bridge as well as the river to create her artwork “Denne rogna klekkes snart” (“the eggs hatch soon”). The orange sphere is a bold contrast to the pristine white bridge and building and reinforces its connection to the fish ‘inhabitants’ of the river itself.
Address: Mandal, Norway
Client: Halse Eiendom