Paddington Basin – Fan Bridge

Art or architecture? Taking a short-cut between Edgware Road Tube station and Paddington Station, one passes through Paddington Basin and Merchant Square. There are a number of artworks and art/architectural installations here, some of which are not immediately obvious. The first one that I came across was, I thought, a standalone sculpture but after a bit of research I have discovered is actually The Fan Bridge. Folded up, as in my photo below one just sees a  series of low-level “segments”.

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What I subsequently discovered was that, when opened, the deck of the Fan Bridge is made of five beams, which originally came to Paddington by barge. The beams each open in sequence, with the first rising to an angle of 80 degrees; the four rising to lower levels.

Paddington Fan Bridge.JPG

The bridge was designed by bridge specialists Knight Architects whose world-wide projects are some of the most amazing that I have seen. The three-metre-wide cantilevered moving structure spans 20 metres across the head of the Basin, rising by means of hydraulic jacks. On a subsequent visit I found the board photographed below which explains everything!

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