The low-carbon footbridge at London’s Dukes Meadows is positioned beneath the existing Grade II listed Barnes Bridge 

Designed by Moxon Architects, Dukes Meadows Footbridge has opened in Chiswick, West London.

The low-carbon footbridge - positioned beneath the existing Grade II listed Barnes Bridge - rejuvenates a previously disconnected stretch of the Thames Path.

Utilising off-site prefabrication in Tilbury, Essex, as well as the river itself for the transportation and installation of the bridge sections, the project aimed to reduce environmental impacts and carbon emissions during construction.

Energy efficient lighting was designed by Moxon to protect the fragile ecosystem within Dukes Hollow.

With finishes in stainless steel and aluminium, the structure anticipates future flooding and reduces the maintenance required over its expected 100+ year lifetime.

The structure is a ‘half through’ truss form with bracing members angled to maximise views to the river. 

Estimates using COWI’s CO2e tool show material specification and construction technique between design and completion enabled a 50% reduction of carbon emissions associated with the trusses, and a 30% reduction in the footbridge’s overall carbon footprint.

Utilising off-site prefabrication, as well as the river itself for the transportation and installation of the bridge sections, the project aimed to reduce environmental impacts

The alignment of the trusses facilitates views up and downstream, as well as into the adjacent Dukes Hollow nature reserve - one of the few remaining natural tidal habitats in London.

The design also respects surrounding ecology by carefully integrating the structure into landscaped banks on either side of Barnes bridge. The 115m long structure is divided into four slender spans that hug the shoreline, touching down on discrete piers that provide a minimal footprint within the tidal zone.

As one of the projects in the Mayor of London’s £53m Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme, the bridge is part of the London Borough of Hounslow’s drive to improve infrastructure, safety and leisure opportunities in the Dukes Meadows area.

As well as negating the need for pedestrians to make a 500m detour to negotiate the railway, the footbridge makes the Thames Path inclusive to more users, providing better-lit and safer access to wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and those with pushchairs.

The bridge also responds to the high volume of rowing traffic along this section of the river, anticipating views to and from rowers at all tide levels.

Ezra Groskin, director at Moxon Architects, said: “Our intention was to develop an affordable, efficient and honest solution that was easy to construct and pleasing to use. With a modest and refined appearance, the bridge sits respectfully below the existing landmark structure, referencing its form without competing for attention.”

Project details

Client London Borough of Hounslow
Architect and lighting designer Moxon Architects
Structural, geotechnical, environmental and civil engineering CampbellReith (Concept Design) / COWI (Technical Design)
Principal contractor Knights Brown
Steel fabricator McNealy Brown
Marine engineering Marmus
Marine transport and logistics Red 7 Marine
Electrical engineering Slender Winter Partnership
CDM consultant Goddard Consulting
Project manager and quantity surveyor Currie & Brown