London’s Merchant Square Footbridge Rises and Lowers like an Ornamental Fan [VIDEO]

The Merchant Square footbridge in the Paddington section of London is about nine feet wide and sixty feet long. Located on a canal, the bridge must rise to allow boats to pass. Drawbridges usually rely on counterweights to lift or spin out of the way; if you’ve ever seen one in action, then you know how the heavy concrete spans move cumbersomely.

In contrast, Knight Architects engineered a beautiful and sophisticated way to lift the Merchant Square footbridge. The bridge is made of five steel beams, which rise in a perfectly timed sequence to create the illusion of a ornamental Japanese fan opening and closing. The bridge serves its function, but it also doubles as public sculpture.

But seeing is believing, so check out the video above!

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