Stahlwerk Bridge

Finkernagel Ross, Apen, 2020



Photography by Finkernagel Ross     Download Original

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Just when we thought our work at this small steel factory in north Germany might be coming to an end, our clients came to us with yet another project: restoring the balustrading of the canal bridge right on the edge of the site

They needn’t have got involved: the work actually falls under the local council’s remit, with state funds allocated for all repairs. But the council’s budget only allowed for a standardised design with a budget aluminium railing, and our clients had other ideas.

They’d seen the positive effect good design and good materials can have on a place, and there was no question of accepting what the council could offer. It was a matter of respecting the past, too: the bridge used to be the way of entering the factory site, and the original bridge even bears the word ‘Stahlwerkbrücke’. So another way forward was brokered: if we could come up with a bespoke design which the council approved, the original budget could then be put towards it, and our clients would bear the costs over and above.

Our design is nothing like the standardised aluminium railing that they might have felt they had to accept. Corten steel references the industrial nature of the place, and the balustrading, with its sweeping and bulging form, picks up on the shapes and details of the trio of buildings to which the bridge leads, that we have worked on for our clients over the past 20 years: Fabricated and installed directly by the client’s workforce from a detailed 3D model provided by us, laser cut lettering with stainless steel inlays references the year of the original bridge (1962) and year of our installation.

So our long-standing collaboration continues, and another showpiece has been added to a seemingly ever-growing collection.


  • Begun: Apr 2020
  • Completed: Jul 2020
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £10,000
  • Funding: Part public & private
  • Tender date: Nov 2019
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: Am Kanal 134, Apen, 26689 , Germany