Lent Tabor Bridge and surroundings by

2024 Public Projects / Slovenia / Built in 2023 /
burgos-garrido.com + bernabeu.net

The Lent Tabor Bridge over the Drava River is very close to the Stari Most – the ‘Old Bridge’ – in Maribor. It cannot compete with it. It can only underline its imposing presence in the city. Visualy it is as transparent as posible. Without intricate or ostentatious structural feats. It is natural and simple: two supports and máximum slenderness.The Stari Most is a steel construction from 1913 that crosses the river at a high level. Next to it, the new Lent Tabor Bridge is silent and distinguished by a different material. It is completely wrapped in wood – on the inside in IPE beams and on the outside in stained larch – giving it an archaic and timeless character. These wooden planks will soon acquire a greyish and imprecise colour that will make it better and charming day by day, dissolving in time its material and structural expression. This ambiguity seems to us to be the best way to settle in this place. In any case, it will be reminiscent of the large logs that once descended the Drava from the logging operations in the mountains, or of the wooden bridge that stood where the new one stands – and which predates the Stari Most – providing a recognisable image that is part of Maribor’s memory.

Under the Old Bridge
Stari Most’s most breathtaking view is probably the one occurring from underneath the bridge. From that point is it easy to understand the bridge’s magnificent structure, its rigour and elegance, but also its size and scale.

Two different river banks
At present both river banks are mainly represented by two green slopes. They should differentiate given that the character of each one is special.
Taborsko nabrežje, the Tabor embankment, is reconstructed into a lookout podium from which to contemplate Maribor’s historical city.
At the old port, the Lent embankment, the bridge emerges from within the foliage. The riverbank preserves its green slope and magnificent trees that will now have, in its improved urbanization, a place from which to laze in the sun and look southwards.

Maribor must keep its memories
The historical position of the Lent-Tabor wooden bridge is part of Maribor’s memory. We must safeguard its memory and the best way to do it goes through preserving the bridge’s original trace.
Maribor’s inhabitants have provided other uses for the historical Lent-Tabor bridge abutment. We cannot take this exceptional space away from them. It must be improved and made more memorable.

Two squares before crossing
On both of its shores, theTabor and the Lent, the footbridge necessitates of open spaces acting as antechambers or vestibules to the bridge.
If during the 18th century these spaces were usually fortified with defensive city walls, now they have become open areas for interpersonal relationship and rapport between Maribor city and its citizens.
These two “carpeted” squares will be paved with cobblestones as in many other squares of Maribor. The common motif provides for unity to the squares while they become playful and optimistic.

Structural System
The bridge has an arched profile formed by two steel girders on either side of the deck. It has three spans of about 42 metres and rests in the riverbed on two groups of piers, each consisting of seven very thin cross elements of galvanised steel, the lightness of which makes it float weightlessly over the river. The bridge is abstract, does not reveal its load-bearing structure – unlike the Stari Most -, has a unique character and a clear identity, and can be seen as ‘halfway’ between the natural and the artificial.

Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape: Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos

Architecture offices involved in the design: Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos; Benrabéu Ingenieros (engineering and structural design)

Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Design year: 2010 (International Competition)

Year Completed: 2023


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