The design of the River Douglas Bridge in Preston, by DKFS Architects (formerly JDA), won an open two-staged international RIBA competition. The studio focuses on the innovative integration of architecture and engineering, and specializes in design research into bridges.
The River Douglas Bridge is a self-anchored stressed ribbon bridge which integrates the existing abutments of a nineteenth-century railway bridge and provides for continuous pedestrian pathways on the lower banks of the river. The stressed ribbon bridge is a rare typology as fewer than 50 have been built worldwide; of these, only two are examples of a self-anchored system.
The design endeavours to move beyond these built precedents through an interdisciplinary understanding of historical, spatial and ecological parameters as well as through contextual integration. The combination of arch and struts, integration of existing bridge abutments and overall architectural expression adapted to River Douglas Bridge are unique.