Cittadella Bridge

A soaring bridge that reactivates the city of Alessandria, reconnecting the city center to the ancient Citadella across the Tanaro River.

The dynamic new design replaced an original structure dating from the Napoleonic era. During repeated flooding along the river, the piers of the old bridge had trapped floating debris, acting as a dam and submerging the roadway itself. Moreover, heavy car traffic on the bridge made it unsafe as a pedestrian crossing, effectively cutting off foot traffic between the modern city center of Alessandria and the ancient Citadella.

The firm responded to Alessandra’s needs by envisioning the new bridge as an urban infrastructure project that reanimates the city. The structure offers an elegant response to the flooding problem by forming a single span elevated above the flood plain, while also accommodating an extension of park land beneath. The 70-foot height of the bridge’s arch is matched by a new tower introduced as a focal point on the adjacent Piazza Gobetti, not only providing a view of the bridge from above but a vantage point from which to survey the connection from the city center across the bridge to the Cittadella itself, activating the town as an important cultural and historical destination.

The bridge’s structure is highly unusual, with its graceful geometry formed by a single 70-foot-high bowstring arch. The structure has been precisely engineered to support both a vehicular roadway and a pedestrian path with this single arch, which curves gently to the south along its span in order to counterbalance the roadbed bowing outward toward the north. The weight of the pedestrian bridge on the opposite side maintains both the physical balance and the aesthetic harmony of the overall structure.