Castleford Bridge

McDowell + Benedetti, Wakefeild, 2008


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Castleford Bridge  

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • Castleford Bridge     
  • View of bridge from across river    
  •  S-shaped bridge    
  • Curved bench seat    
  • Bridge in use    
  • Timber Planks following the curve of the bridge    
  • View to Duck Island    
  • Detail of bench seat    
  • The steel legs piled 15m above water level    
  • View of bridge from afar    
  • Broiling waters pass under your feet as you cross the bridge    
  • View of sweeping curve    
  • Detail of steel legs    
  • The white steel legs disappear into the foaming landscape beneath    
  • View of bridge within the context of the townscape    
  • The bridge links the town centre with rows of houses on Duck Island    
  • View on a sunny day    
  • The bridge appears floating over the River Aire    
  • Bridge plan and grid layout    
  • Plan and reflected deck plan span 1    
  • Plan and reflected deck plan    
  • Cross section b    
  • Cross section a    
  • East elevation    
  • Cross section through bench    

130m long pedestrian S-shaped footbridge over the River Aire in Castleford, Wakefield

The pedestrian bridge curves in response to the site context of the mill, the weir and old wrecked barge, giving users maximum experience of these landmarks. The streamlined timber deck bridge is designed as a public space as well as a route, with the structure rising through the deck to create four 20 metre curving benches to sit and enjoy the panoramic views.

Materials include untreated Cumaru timber for the bridge decking and handrail, stainless steel for the balustrades, tension cables, bench panels and a central grille in the timber deck to mark the midpoint of contra-flexure. Cumaru having two and half times the density of oak was chosen for its durability and was sourced from sustainable forests in Brazil.

The bridge is the first phase of McDowell+Bendetti’s proposed waterfront regeneration master plan, which includes a new public square and boardwalk on the south bank, a landscaped public space on the north bank, and a cohesive lighting strategy surrounding the bay called the “string of pearls”. The design and construction process was featured in a Channel 4 television documentary.


  • Begun: Jan 2007
  • Completed: Jul 2008
  • Sectors: Civic, Public realm
  • Total cost: £3.2M
  • Procurement: SFA/99 Sole Appointment
  • Address: Mill Lane, Castleford, Wakefeild, WF10 2LX, United Kingdom

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