Merchant Square Footbridge in Paddington, London’s newest movable footbridge has opened to the public this month.
The 3m wide Merchant Square Footbridge cantilevered structure spans 20m across the Grand Union Canal and is raised using hydraulic jacks with an action similar to that of a traditional Japanese hand fan.
This creates a kinetic sculpture whose silhouette is both legible and extraordinary and which is well suited to the position next to the canal.
The five fabricated steel beams forming the deck open in sequence, with the first rising to an angle of 70 degrees and the last achieving the required clearance over the canal of 2.5m tall by 5.5m wide at mid channel. Shaped counterweights assist the hydraulic mechanism and reduce the energy required to mo