Like a ribbon that gradually unfurls across the water, the new walkway is a fluid area that invites you to stroll and wander around the foot of the most emblematic monument in Geneva: the Jet d'Eau. The watchword for this project was accessibility for all: boats, yachtsmen, walkers, tourists and people with reduced mobility. Everybody is welcome to this new public space that imposes itself as a bold gesture, but seems only natural.
Thirty metres from the wharf, the esplanade crosses an access channel to the port for small vessels. To maintain the fluidity of the space, we designed a whole new type of walkway: The structure rises like a wave to let boats go through, without interrupting the flow of pedestrians who can keep on walking. The bearing structure for the decking is a scissor mechanism with a single axis of movement.
The new mobile walkway of Geneva‚ Jet d'Eau is a unique masterpiece of engineering, which required high software skills and intense detailing innovation. Spanning over 12 meters long and rising more than 2 meters high to allow boat passing, the deck transforms itself into a 10 steps stair, so as not to interrupt people walk. A total capacity of 80 tons is needed in the pistons to push up the 15 tons of structure, including 30 pairs of scissors made of duplex stainless steel.
The project was opened to the public on 25 June 2016. The operation of the walkway is directly related to the operation of the Jet d'Eau: the walkway is in the raised position when the fountain is off and respectively in a horizontal position with the water is turned on. In this way, the public space is consistent and perfectly meets the requirements of the different users.