The Circle Bridge

The Circle Bridge by Olafur Eliasson

The Circle Bridge by Olafur Eliasson

Five overlapping circular platforms give the Circle Bridge its obvious name. At Christianshavn, directly across from the Black Diamond, it bridges a secondary canal that reaches the main harbour canal here. This used to be the last remaining gap in the waterfront bike route from the south end of the harbour to the very city centre.

Olafur Eliasson designed the Circle Bridge. He’s an extremely productive and professional artist, who works a lot with spacial installations, light and nature. He’s often collaborating with architects on building projects, or with architect assistants in his own studio. So a bridge like this is not too far from his universe.

Besides solving the functional task, connecting the two sides, the bridge offers a bit of ‘resistance’ to the flow of traffic. The circles are a bit off alignment. This causes the flow of traffic to make a few gentle sways across the bridge.

Eliasson’s idea is to encourage cyclists (and pedestrians) to stop for a brief pause and take a view at the beautiful place that Copenhagen has become in recent decades.

Additionally, the masts and wires refer to the ships of the formerly busy trading harbour.

Olafur Eliasson is behind an incredible production of awe-inspiring and deeply fascinating works. Another local example is the three yellow light globes in the foyer of the Copenhagen Opera House.

The bridge is more practical, yet elegant. I really like how it articulates a connection between the modern office spaces to the north and the older sugar factory warehouses to the south.

It opens, but rarely

The Circle Bridge opens, but only rarely, as only few boats in this end of the canal can’t pass under it. But it’s not obvious how. The northern part (three circles with masts), revolves clockwise around the biggest, middle mast. It’s controlled by members of the boat club inside the canal whenever necessary.

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