Black Bridge

David Sheppard Architects, Ivybridge, 2013


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  • Construction Drawing    
  • Concept Sketch    

Black brick and slate bridge

The bridge is a mirror image, a reflection of itself, metaphorically depicting the movement of water crossing and flowing out into the landscape. Shallow slender concave and convex arches, built in staggered double layering of black brick, are structurally and aesthetically in harmony with each other; one crossing the other countering the three ton forces applied.

Preventing the arch to slump or crack from beneath we threaded flexible 6mm stainless steel cables through the brick holes, mortaring as you go, creating an internal tie. By site drilling the slate and putting pairs of thin traverse tie bars in the 8 to 12.5 mm mortar joints and at mid span and quarter points resisted the handrails from overturning and pushing bricks out at the edges. It took two months to complete.


  • Begun: Aug 2013
  • Completed: Sep 2013
  • Floor area: 10m2
  • Sector: Transport
  • Total cost: £12,000
  • Procurement: Fixed Price
  • Address: Black bridge, Thornham, Ermington, Ivybridge, PL21 0LG, United Kingdom

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