The Webb Bridge Melbourne allows users to appreciate the surrounding views and activities along the river and can be used as a destination in its own right, as well as a meeting point, or simply, a place of leisurely contemplation. As an object, it appears as a delineated structure, a sensuous volume, light and linear. Space is seen as atmospheric, dynamic and transitional.
It was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects’ Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design (Victorian Architecture Awards 2005) and a National Commendation for Urban Design (2005)
The Webb Bridge Melbourne comprises two distinct sections: the existing structure (145m long) and the new curved, ramped connecting link (80m long) employed to take up level changes, creating a point of arrival at the south bank. Both are joined seamlessly, with an emphasis on volume and containment in the new curved and sinuous form.
There are two main components to the bridge: the pigmented concrete screed deck on steel box beams and the containing baskets/ribs of circular/ovoid hoops which encircle the bridge deck. The hoops vary in width from 5 – 8.7m and in height from 4 – 8.9m high. They are constructed from steel sections 15 x 150mm, occurring at varying centres along the bridge. These are interconnected by a series of steel straps 150mm wide.
The steelwork was made in prefabricated sections and then assembled on a barge that was floated in at high tide. At the northern bank it starts as a series of plain hoops that grow further apart towards the middle of the span. As you approach the south bank, the hoops regain their intensity and evolve into a filigree cocoon. This gradation of pattern was intended to create a life, a moment in time.