CPH Gate-compressed Photo: Steven Holl Architects

At first glance, architect Steven Holl’s design for a pedestrian bridge connecting two mixed-use towers seems utterly impractical. Waiting for an elevator is its own form of torture, and yet that’s exactly what the Copenhagen Gate depends on to serve its users.

But the unique cable-stayed bridge is actually an architectural solution to a city bylaw that states all new residential buildings must be within 500 meters of a transit stop. Its height of 65 meters (213 feet) allows cruise ships to pass beneath it — an important factor as the Langelinie port is one of the busiest in Europe.

The bridge is made up of two parts, which meet on an angle “joining like a handshake over the harbour.” The 27-story Langelinie tower will boast cafes, restaurants and an open-air public deck. The geometric design features orange overhangs, and the color extends along its portion of the pedestrian bridge. The Marmormolen tower, which connects to the city, boasts 24 stories and bright yellow undersides. Copenhagen Gate will be lit up at night, casting warm citrus hues onto the surface of the water.

Currently, to get around the harbor, area residents must take a 2.2 kilometer (1.4 mile) detour. The proposed pedestrian bridge spans just over 200 meters (656 feet), which would significantly reduce the commute time to the nearest bus stop and new metro station.

Holl’s design was first proposed in 2008, but financing for the project was delayed due to the financial crisis. Construction is now slated to begin in 2016.

yellow orange closeup-compressed

areil cph gate-compressed Photos: Steven Holl Architects

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