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Luton DART Gateway Bridge

Luton, UK

Luton DART Gateway Bridge

Luton, UK

Client

London Luton Airport Ltd

Programme

2018 - 2022

Design Team

Knight Architects, Arup

Contractor Team

Volker Fitzpatrick, Tony Gee, Victor Buyck

Signposting a modern airway experience

The Luton DART Gateway Bridge has been designed as a distinctive gateway, forming a flamboyant element in the airport’s new rapid transit system. The bridge carries passengers from the mainline Luton Parkway station directly to the terminal beyond, significantly improving access by public transport.

An airport is an asymmetric experience; half a journey; a departure or an arrival. This inspired an asymmetric structure which draws the eye skywards to the journey ahead. Spanning 72m across the busy Airport Way, the truss is primarily viewed from below, against the backdrop of the sky. Its top chord traces a parabola which springs from deck level, before tapering to a slender profile which appears to fade into the distance. In combination with the plan-curve of the bridge, the design strikes a dynamic and elegant arc in the sky, which suits the moving viewpoint of the both the road and DART users.

As night falls, the top-chord becomes illuminated with an active-LED system. Unlike traditional lighting systems for gateway bridges, which are illuminated from below, the LED system is attached directly to the structure and aimed downwards. This allows the lighting system to safely operate in its airport environment, without interfering with the functional lighting behind.

“The installation of the DART bridge is a very significant milestone, not just for the pioneering scheme, but for the town of Luton as a whole”

– Ciaran Scanlon, Service Director for London Luton Airport Ltd
Visualisation of completed Luton footbridge from side of motorway with cars travelling underneath