Iwan & Manuela Wirth | Glen Gairn, Cairngorms 2013-2015

Winner CNPA Awards 2016

This bridge crosses the River Gairn at Corndavon, approximately 10 miles north of the Dee Valley in the Cairngorms National Park. The bridge site has been used as a crossing point for well over a century. The River Gairn is located to the east of the main Cairngorm Massif, flowing west to east from SE of Ben Avon, before turning approximately south at the foot of the Hill of Candacraig before meeting the Dee to the west of Ballater. The river (in its entirety) is located within in the Cairngoms National Park and the River Dee Special Area of Conservation.

The design of the bridge is a simple curved steel structure with a central ‘V’ support. It is partially timber in appearance due to the deck and parapet being constructed out of locally felled European Larch and Douglas Fir.

The arch geometry has an effect in both elevation and plan, such that the plan form is a very subtle ‘eyelid’. It is designed to be accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and Argocat vehicles. The curvature of the geometry is most apparent looking along the bridge – pinch points at the bridge ends restrict the type of vehicle that can cross while the slightly wider centre allows for a comfortable crossing.