The Meads Reach Bridge was a joint project between Niall McLaughlin Architects, Cyril Sweett, Gleeds, Price & Myers, Dean & Dyball and m-tec for developer Castlemore Securities. The bridge has an internal light work by the artist Martin Richman.
Meads Reach Bridge is a pedestrian and cycle bridge designed to link a new mixed-use development at Temple Quay with the Bristol Temple Meads Station and new hotel, office and retail development. The design was produced with an integral artwork by artist Martin Richman (a collaboration with Neil McLaughlan Architects and Price and Myers Engineers).
Materials and artificial light studies were central to the design. The construction is a stressed skin arc of stainless steel, which lands on haunched abutments at each side of the floating harbour. The arc of the bridge picks up light from the sky and water, changing with the weather and the time of day. The interior of the bridge holds LED lights, which make the whole structure glow at night to reveal the hidden ribs of the internal skeleton. As the light changes towards evening the ghost of the structure is subtly revealed.
The 55 metre bridge was fabricated by m-tec and weights 75 tonnes fully, fashioned from 2205 2205 duplex stainless steel. Its construction was made from eight sections, which were delivered individually to the Bristol location. This was then re-assembled and fully welded together making one complete structure. Final polishing was undertaken and the completed pedestrian walkway was craned into place in one piece.
Martin Richman’s work addresses issues concerning light, colour and space both in the private and public realms. Richman creates spaces which deal with moments of seductive promise and frustration; the spaces are often physically unattainable yet imaginatively inhabitable.
As well as a strong studio practice and producing work for exhibitions and private houses, Martin Richman has done many public projects from stand-alone sculptures to collaborative works with architects and engineers. Richman is well known for the transformation of Tyseley Energy From Waste Facility, Birmingham (1997) in collaboration with architect Ray Perry that received a RSA award.