In the nineteenth century more than 10% of the population of Leicester was employed in the hosiery and knitwear industries.
The factories/warehouses needed a consistent supply of fresh water and were commonly located alongside the canal/river.
The industry has undergone considerable decline and many of the warehouses and factories have been demolished. The waterside is now undergoing regeneration and in recent years has seen the construction of a significant number of new family homes.
Our response to the context is to develop a footbridge that had a memory of these historic industries. The three dimensional form of our bridge is reminiscent of these historic cloths and garments. The perforation of the bridge structure embraces the language of weaving, knitting, cross stitching and asks questions about both the history of the River Soar and the nature of the activities that once took place.
The architectural language of the building also presents an opportunity to exploit modern rapid prototyping fabrication methods. Using parametric tools we can set out the perforations and send this information directly to the fabricator speeding up the manufacturing process and reflecting the original weaving tools used along the river.