Grand Canal Bridge Venice, Architect, Photo, Italian Design, Image

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande Venice, Italy : Grand Canal Bridge

Grand Canal Bridge Venice – design by Santiago Calatrava

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande

Architect and Engineer: Santiago Calatrava

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande – Bridge Information

Architect and Engineer: Santiago Calatrava

Client: Municipality of Venice

Inauguration: September 18, 2008

Project: In June 1999, the Municipality of Venice drafted a preliminary plan for a fourth bridge, the Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande. Through a public selection process, Santiago Calatrava was commissioned in November 1999 to design the new bridge. Calatrava’s response is an arched bridge with a large radius which was designed to be constructed off-site and installed entirely from the canal.

Site: The bridge is sited at a strategic point, connecting the railway station (Stazzione Santa Lucia) on the north with the Piazzale Roma (the City’s arrival point by car/bus) on the south side of the Grand Canal. The bridge is important both functionally and symbolically, connecting arriving vistitors to the city and welcoming them to Venice with a panoramic view of the Grand Canal.

Major Design Features: The bridge is arched with a very big radius of 180 meters (590 ft), consisting of a central arch, two side arches and two lower arches. Girders placed radial to the main radius join the arches together. The girders are of steel tubes and plates which form closed section boxes.
An important feature of the project is the creation of two public areas near the two ends of the bridge, which act as extensions of the bridge and form symbolic celebratory spaces for the city.


” Height of arch: 3.45 m (11.32 ft)
” Clearance to water (at high tide): 7.04 m (23.1 ft)
” Length of bridge: 101.16 m (331.89 ft)
” Distance between abutments: 79.72 m (261.55 ft)
” Width of bridge: 5.39 – 9.38 m (17.68 – 30.77 ft)
” Distance between ribs: 0.96 m – 1.14 m (3.15 – 3.74 ft)
” Cantilever of ribs from centerline: 3.28 m – 4.57 m (10.76 – 14.99 ft)
” Weight (approx): 340 tons


” Structure of arch: Steel
” Abutments: Reinforced concrete clad in pietra d’Istria
” Cladding/Finishes: Pietra d’Istria, pietra Trachite, bronze, glass
” Parapet: Glass, brass

Grand Canal Bridge Venice
photograph :, Barbara Burg/Oliver Schuh

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande – Architect’s Statement

No other city in the world has as many bridges as Venice. You might imagine that the addition of one more should not cause much of an impression-but this one is only the fourth bridge over the Grand Canal to be built since the 16th century, and I have felt that it is an enormous honor to have been asked to create it.

In particular, I felt very honored to be given the opportunity to create a legacy in such a historic City and over the Grand Canal, spanning a link between greatest architects as they are Palladio and Carlo Scarpa.

The Grand Canal is of immense importance to Venice, both historically and as a contemporary thoroughfare, which only adds to the difficulty of building a bridge across it. In order to reduce the impact of the construction process, I designed the bridge so that it could be fabricated elsewhere and brought to the site by barge, creating almost no disturbance to the normal activity on the canal. Last summer for two nights, traffic was stopped to bring in the three sections of the bridge, but that has been the only disruption to this most important waterway and thoroughfare of Venice.

In addition to joining the north and south banks of the Canal at a very strategic point-connecting the busy railway station and the Piazzale Roma, I hope that the bridge will offer a welcoming entrance to Venice. Commuters, visitors and residents will all be able to see the Grand Canal in a new way when they cross the bridge, continuing their journey with a new appreciation for the history and future of Venice.

The way that a bridge meets the earth has always been a very delicate part of my designs, and I am pleased that this bridge is clearly integrated with the quays on either side. I hope that the public spaces at either end of the bridge will become new and celebratory places where people can linger amidst the bustle and activity around them.

To build in a city as richly endowed with art and history as Venice is to take on a great responsibility. As an architect who wishes to build something of our own time, I am always conscious that what you build must also live compatibly with its surroundings and with the past. I believe that the Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande bridges these diverse objectives.

Grand Canal Bridge Venice image / information from C-H C

Santiago Calatrava Architect

Grand Canal Bridge : main page

Location: Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande, Venice, Italy

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