Son of a Shingle – Vaksali pedestrian bridge and underpasses

This pedestrian junction is an multilevel urban connector, consisting of a bridge and two tunnels. The project is defined by a soft, undulating skin, which pursues the continuity of movement and is covered by 100 000 clinker shingles. It aims to be a landscape landmark to motivate people to walk and cycle by creating an attractive waypoint.

With last few years, this pedestrian junction has proven to strengthen the connections between two neighborhoods, with more bicyclists and walkers in the region than ever, changing the traditional car centered traffic of the area. Above all, this infrastructural project is a landmark for adopting with climate changes and global security issues. Due to climate change, the under bridge are has been flooded almost few months a year turning the monsoon, which made it impassable for most of the people. With new two tunnels and a bridge, we were also able to secure faster movement in case of emergency and better connect bicyclist network of Tartu.

Moving in urban space should be smooth and easy, but ideally the environment should also offer diverse experiences. This reduces cognitive distances and perhaps, as a result, more people will get about on foot. Thus we decided to mould the bridge and tunnel into a single landscaped ensemble, which does not dominate, but does stand out. It encourages you to directly experience it, not admire it from a distance.

To achieve the desired result, we have provided an unexpected material for the tunnel and for the guardrail of the bridge: ceramic shingles. In addition to creating form, we wanted to emphasise the human scale elements in urban infrastructure. The 100 000 shingles are tinted in four shades, from silver to honey, depending on the amount of UV radiation that falls on them. As a result, the grey bricks blends with the concrete elements in outdoor, while inside the tunnel there is a warm atmosphere, supported by the curved form of the shingles and the lighting solution.

reinforced concrete, ceramic shingles, casted brick shaped lights