George C. King Bridge

Calgary, Canada

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation


RFR Paris

Structural Engineer

Graham Construction

Electrical Engineer
Mulvey & Banani

Electrical Contractor
Concept Group


Footbridge Awards, Lighting, 2017

Architecture + Environment

The George C. King Bridge by RFR Paris forms the connection between the newly developed 31-acre recreational park on St. Patrick’s Island with Calgary’s East Village and it’s Bridgeland - Riverside community.

In response to the ebb and flow of the Bow and Elbow Rivers beneath, we designed a gentle but constantly animated lighting scheme, that enhances the multi-sensory experience of crossing the river.

Known as the ‘skipping stone’ bridge, the treble arch construction was conceived as both a crossing and a destination in itself.

On the bridge deck, a series of vertical lighting elements detailed into the pedestrian level balustrade provide safe conditions for passage, while expressing the structure and allowing for views out.

The experience of crossing is a dynamic one - the views, smells, sounds and vibrations of the fast flowing water, rustling grasses and foliage both activate and invigorate the senses. To support and intensify these sensations, we animated the bridge deck lighting with a series of four pre-programmed rhythmic scenarios based on pixelated graphic representations of light in the natural landscape. Running on the quarter hour these scenarios create softly immersive light ripples and patterns across and along the deck.

Viewed from a distance, the white bridge deck appears float over a bed of blue light, reinforcing its elegant horizontal nature in a distinctive tableau. Reflections onto the underside of the bridge allow natural seasonal changes to the water, ice, and ice vapour to create subtle and beautiful alterations to its appearance.

Watch the animated lighting scheme here:

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