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Knostrop Footbridge

Leeds, UK

Knostrop Footbridge

Leeds, UK


Leeds City Council / Environment Agency


2015 - 2017

Design Team

Knight Architects, Mott MacDonald

Contractor Team

BAM Nuttall


SH Structures


Structural Steel Design Award 2018

Living Waterways Awards 2018 (Runner-up)

CIHT Awards 2018 (Shortlisted)

Structural Awards 2018 (Shortlisted)

AJ Awards 2018 (Shortlisted)

Offsite Awards 2018 (Shortlisted)

ICE Yorkshire and Humber Award 2019

RIBA MacEwen Award 2019 (Commendation)

Civic Trust Awards 2019 (Commendation)

Footbridge Awards 2022 (Highly Commended)

Design more to build less

The 70m-long bridge at Knostrop Weir is part of the major Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme which was a response to the destructive flooding of 2015. The crossing provides a pedestrian and cycle pathway along the River Aire and forms part of the wider Trans Pennine Trail.

A structurally simple but architecturally dynamic design was developed, with slender support piers placed upon each of the walls of the flood defence weir, which are staggered in plan. The 50mm thick unstiffened steel plates provide a visually minimal support to the sinuous deck form, allowing the deck to ‘float’ above the water.

A subtle use of plan curvature in the edges of the bridge deck produces three wider areas above the supports, where people can linger and watch the weir without impeding commuters travelling into the city.

Care was taken to avoid creating complex curvature in the architectural form of the steel deck which would have been difficult to fabricate and would have increased cost.

Knsotrop footbridge parapet
River view of Knostrop foot and cycle bridge
Foot and cycle bridge in Leeds crossing the River Aire, designed by Knight Architects

“For me, it displays a clear intelligence and commitment to the old idea that public works are a matter of civic pride.”

– Hugh Pearman - RIBA Journal
Aerial view of Knostrop bridge