An innovative new link for London
The Stratford Town Centre Link connects Westfield Shopping Centre with the existing facilities in this vibrant area of east London. Previously divided by the railway lines at Stratford Regional Station, the new bridge stretches 64.3 metres over the tracks to provide shoppers with an accessible and attractive route between the two retail hubs.
Not only did the Link need to be long enough to clear the railway lines below, it also needed to be wide enough and strong enough to support an average footfall of up to 160,000 visitors each day. Additional complications for constructing the bridge included the lack of assembly area on the station side, a very limited footprint within the Stratford City development, and no suitable locations for heavy cranes to be positioned.
The BuroHappold team developed an efficient yet extremely strong structural design for the Link, comprising a sturdy steel frame whose two main trusses vary in depth – from minimum height at the bridge ends to maximum at the central pier. Our bold decision to combine weathering steel with high glazed sides created a sophisticated urban appearance and a virtually maintenance free structure. The steel will form a dark brown patina over time, giving the bridge a pleasing natural appearance.
Our engineers devised an innovative approach to installing the Link that worked within the limitations of the site. To support this concept, our media team developed a computer animation that illustrated the construction sequence to the authorities, so that they could understand the process from both a safety and operational perspective. This culminated in us being granted permission to stage the first known live bridge launch over an operational UK railway station.
Since it opened in September 2011, The Westfield Shopping Centre has proved to be an immensely popular London attraction. This iconic bridge invites shoppers to explore the surrounding area, contributing to the economic growth of Stratford as a whole.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply