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Intertwine Bridge by MASS Lab in Iceland – A Connector of Communities


MASS Lab creates the design for an Intertwine Bridge to connect Iceland’s Reykjavik and Kópavogur communities. 

The bridge is being built as a new gateway between communities and is part of a larger plan to improve their recreational, ecological, and tourist activities. The iconic bridge will accommodate environmentally friendly modes of transportation such as buses, cyclists, and pedestrians. 

While the bridge over Fossvogur in Reykjavik, Iceland, is a unique and iconic structure, its character and essence are rooted in making the shoreline accessible to the community. 

Intertwine Bridge by MASS Lab – A Connector of Communities 

The intertwining bridge over Fossvogur primarily aims to improve transportation connections between Reykjavik and Kópavogur.  

The structure is made up of concrete arches that allow for more space for boats and water activities. The design includes a composite steel-concrete deck to reinforce the arches and reduce the amount of maintenance required by the structure. Furthermore, support devices and expansion joints are used sparingly because they typically require the most maintenance. 

The bridge is a critical project in the development of the area’s public space, and it is intended to be part of the city’s larger plan for recreational, ecological, and tourist activities. It is expected to become a landmark attraction and support environmentally friendly transportation options such as public buses, cyclists, and pedestrians’ city plans. 

The flora of the area surrounding the bridge has received special attention, with the addition of local trees such as conifer, poplar, larch, and ash berry. The designers also focused on the waterfront elements, including water sports, cultural attractions, and other methods to improve the area’s community feel. 

The bridge is built in the style of a composite deck, with a pair of sinusoidal concrete arches that connect monolithically to socket piles. With the bedrock at approximately 14-15m, the flexibility of the arches and piles allows for total continuity between the components, resulting in improved performance and lower overall maintenance costs. 

A pair of sinusoidal concrete arches connecting monolithically to socket piles form the bridge’s foundation, which is constructed similarly to a composite deck. With bedrock at a height of 14 to 15 meters, the flexibility of the arches and piles allows for complete continuity between the parts, improving performance and lowering overall maintenance costs. 

Web net railings run the entire length of the bridge as a safety feature to encourage pedestrians to take in the panoramic views of the waves and beachfront. The use of discrete lighting throughout ensures adequate separation from the railings and safe lighting for the buses 

The bridge itself functions as a network of paths that are entwined together by the two ends of the bridge, acting as an anchor because it is rooted inside both sides of the bay, creating a continuous connection with the existing roads along the shores. The urban axe, the green path, and the toolkit system are the three distinct contextual conditions over which the intervention is implemented. Keeping in mind the Borgalina plan’s design principles, the streets’ dimensions, the relationships between their various lanes, and the crossings were all taken into consideration. 

In order to secure the sloppiness required for the deck and to create a visual resonance with the meanders and ripples of the moving water surface of the bay, the concrete arches that make up the structural idea create one continuous wave line with a lower amplitude as it approaches the shore. 

The bridge’s graceful curves were designed to accommodate the numerous cyclists and pedestrians who use it daily and day as well as their speed and movements. The intertwined form is used to improve the experience of cyclists and pedestrians by offering various focal points at various points along the route and fostering a stronger connection with the surrounding environment. 

About MASS Lab 

MASS lab is a forward-thinking and cutting-edge design firm specializing in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and comprehensive planning. Diogo Rocha, Duarte Fontes, and Lourenço Rodrigues founded the Porto-based studio in 2014.  

The multidisciplinary design team that supports it is made up of seven nationalities and a diverse range of professional and educational backgrounds. The core team is supported by a strong and expanding network of collaborators throughout Europe. MASS lab also established a branch in Copenhagen in 2016. 

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