Toronto Eaton Centre Pedestrian Bridge
Design Architects: WilkinsonEyre Architects
Client: Cadillac Fairview Corporation
Size: 1,900 sq.ft. (177 sq.m.)
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Eaton Centre, Zeidler and London-based WilkinsonEyre Architects have designed a new pedestrian bridge over Queen Street to replace the existing structure that connects the Eaton Centre with the Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue. The existing heavily-used bridge, originally designed in 1978 by Zeidler (in association with B+H), sees more than 2 million crossings per year.
The new bridge, encased in floor-to-ceiling glass panels with multiple spiraling angles, will be a high quality example of contemporary bridge architecture. Its dynamic sculptural form will create a new civic landmark for the City and enhance the urban realm experience for both passersby and bridge users. The transformational geometry of the bridge form is further emphasized by the use of bronze panels, which extend, wave-like, from the Hudson Bay end and gradually transition to glass nearer to the Eaton Centre. The glass will wrap around and below the walkway level, making people using the bridge more visible, and increasing engagement with street life below. The internal experience will be of walking within a sculptural artwork. Feature lighting will enhance the bridge’s role as a landmark. The bridge’s supporting beam is designed to maximize clearance over Queen Street while staying within the desired accessible gradient. Zeidler is working with the City of Toronto, Toronto Transit Commission, and Fire Prevention Services to protect the integrity of the bridge’s design while responding to numerous practical requirements.