The new 49-metre span bridge over Oystermouth Road will connect phase on and phase two of the £135m Swansea Central regeneration, being built by Buckingham Group Contracting.
Phase One includes a 3,500-capacity indoor arena, new parkland, a multi-storey car parking, commercial units and more than 30 apartments. It is due to be open in autumn 2021. Phase Two will follow on, delivering office space, housing and shops.
The new footbridge is intended as a landmark for the city. The bridge will stand around six metres above the main road. It will range in width from six to 12 metres, stand six metres high and be 49 metres long. It will be lit inside by colour-changing LED lights.
It has been designed by Swansea artist Marc Rees in collaboration with architect Acme as “a playful and spectacular gold-coloured interpretation of a striking swan figure”.
Marc Rees said: “The council wanted the design to reflect an authentic local voice and I hope I bring that along with a compelling artistic edge.
“Working on the design with Acme has been exciting. I settled on an origami-style pattern because I wanted the bridge to have a playfulness reflecting its proximity to the arena and park. I chose swans because they represent forward movement and change; they also, of course, have a strong Swansea association.
“The bridge represents the transition from the past to the future. It symbolises Swansea’s aspiration to evolve, grow, flourish and become even more exciting but still very much rooted in a sense of place.”
Buckingham Group Contracting project director Tim Wood said: “We have been working closely with Marc Rees and Acme to develop the detailed construction and structural designs for the bridge. Our aim is to ensure that the finished bridge delivers the architectural, aesthetic qualities that are required and that it creates a stunning visual gateway to Swansea.”