Open Anonymous Architectural Competition for the new footbridge over Soča river in Tolmin, Slovenia, 2018
Footbridge as a shelter above the river.
The site for the new footbridge over Soča river is located between two Slovene towns - Tolmin and Most na Soči. The left embankment is currently degraded due to sand separation plant. On the right side of the river lie the green fields of Modrejčansko polje with forested Bučenice hill in the background. On both embankments there are multiple bike and pedestrian trails that in this specific location do not offer any exquisite views. Here, the best landscape element is the river Soča itself, dominating the surroundings with its distinct turquoise color and width.
In typologies of the local utilitarian buildings we recognized the quality in simple design and use of local building materials. The common denominator of wood harvesting, hayracks for drying grain and water barriers are steep pitched roofs, a solid wooden structure and a stone base as a foundation or a pillar.
The new, 110 m footbridge over Soča river, follows the idea of a shelter above the river or a shelter in the landscape, where pedestrians and bikers alike can find refuge in case of sudden, heavy rain, winter snowstorms or scorching summer sun.
Design and structure of the new footbridge follow the typology of the nearby utilitarian buildings. A steep, pitched roof is bending over the river, attached to concrete pedestals on both embankments, protecting the pedestrian path underneath. Due to convex pitched roof that reaches its highest point in the middle of the footbridge, the views toward Soča river open up and become most fascinating, encouraging people to stop and enjoy the scenery.
The footbridge crossing experience is distinct in contrasts between the fragile outer appearance from far and the impression of a massive bridge in the interior, between the coolness of aluminium roof shingles and the warmth of the wooden interior.
Soča footbridge is therefore not merely a connecting element between the two embankments but also a space for contemplation, where one can stop for a moment, and take in the river in all its glory, in any weather conditions.
Location: Soča river, Tolmin, Slovenia
Project date: 2018
Site area: 3350 m2
Bridge area: 945 m2
Length: 110 m
Client: Tolmin Municipality
Project team: Jure Hrovat, Ana Kreč, Jakub Chojna
Landscape architecture: Andreja Zapušek, Damjan Černe
Structural engineer: Matic Smrajc