The Näsi Park Bridge by

2024 Public Projects / Finland / Built in 2023 /

The Näsi Park Bridge is located in Tampere within the valuable cultural landscape of Lake Näsijärvi and the Tammerkoski rapids, right on the upstream of the Tammerkoski rapids. There are two parallel Näsi Bridges. Of these, the northern bridge previously used for vehicular traffic was converted into recreational use when the highway was rerouted. The bridge freed from cars was transformed into a new public outdoor space, a landscape bridge offering views of the surrounding city and Lake Näsijärvi.

The bridge connects the new residential are of Ranta-Tampella to Särkänniemi and complements the recreational route along the shore of Lake Näsijärvi. The intension behind this is the goal of City of Tampere to restore and develop lake shores for the use of all residents. The southern bridge continues to serve as the main vehicular route to the Ranta-Tampella area and accommodates the main cycling route.

The formation of the Näsi Park Bridge is inspired by the movement of the natural forces of lake Näsijärvi. The “effect” of waves and strong winds is reflected in the design of the bridge. The organization of the park bridge rhythmically relates to the surrounding landscape. Thematically, the bridge is divided into five different sections: the ends of the bridge facing Ranta-Tampella and Särkänniemi, the middle part of the bridge on top of the island of Pajasaari, and the freely flowing rapids between these parts. Spatial intensity increases towards the central part of the bridge, where the highest park structures and viewpoints are located. Vegetation and structures are lower and more discreet on top of the flowing water.

A low, longitudinal undulating natural stone wall divides the park bridge into two different parts: a movement zone and an elevated leisure area bordered by the wall. The movement route is divided into a natural stone paved route for pedestrian winter maintenance and an asphalted route allowing versatile movement bordered by the wall. With the low stone wall, the leisure level is raised up to half a meter higher than the movement route. Structurally, raising the ground level with the wall allows for planting areas and discreet attachment of new equipment onto the bridge.

The varying heights of orange-colored column rows emphasize the length of the park bridge. They serve as space dividers and provide wind protection for the leisure areas. Key themes in vegetation design include the natural biotopes and species of Lake Näsijärvi’s shores, the demanding and atypical growth conditions of the bridge, the spatially different sub-areas of the bridge, and the colors and shades of bloom. Vegetation areas are implemented as dynamic mixed plantings.

The Näsi Park Bridge is an excellent example of unique green construction and circular economy, where renewing an old infrastructure has improved the everyday environment of urban residents and created new attractive outdoor spaces. The bridge could have been demolished, but demolition would have been challenging, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly. Instead of demolition, the bridge has been given a new life as a public green space, naturally blending into the extensive Näsijärvi shoreline route. The landscape bridge is a unique destination on a national scale, where old infrastructure has been so greatly transformed for recreational use.

The recycling theme is also reflected in the pavement and furniture on the bridge: part of the pavement was made from recycled granite tiles from Pakkahuoneenaukio Square, and granite from Hämeenkatu Street was used at the ends of the bridge. The benches, sun loungers, and picnic tables on the landscape bridge are handmade, using larch planks from the city’s own managed forests.

The old bridge structure has been a challenging design object. The design had to take into account the bridge’s existing structures, height levels, and functionality. The long, narrow bridge area poses its own challenges to construction. The wide expanse of Lake Näsijärvi to the north exposes the design area to strong northerly winds and creates its own constraints. The bridge also fits into a culturally significant landscape, which has also been considered in the compatibility of the bridge’s structures and vegetation with views and the larger landscape.

The landscape bridge of Näsinsilta was opened to the public in May 2023, and the reception has been positive. The bridge was awarded for the best environmental structure of the year in Finland 2023. It also was also voted as people´s choice in a competition held by City of Tampere during the same year.

Tampere has gained a new landscape attraction. A bold visual identity has been created with innovative design solutions, sculptural forms, material choices that emphasize the spirit of the place, and a recognizable color palette. The high-quality result has been made possible by a bold and open-minded client and fruitful dialogue between different stakeholders.

Other offices involved in the design of landscape:
Wsp Finland Oy (lightning design and structure design of the bridge)

Location: 33210 Tampere, Finland (Näsin puistosilta)

Design year: 2020-2022

Year Completed: 2023


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