Vivekananda Bridge is comprised of two bridges that link the very southern tip of India to two islands that lie approximately 400 metres of the coast. The bridges form a pilgrimage route - currently served by ferries - and will connect the southern mainland of India to both the Thiruvalluvar and Vivekananda islands.
The first island has a statue of Thiruvalluvar - also known as Valluvar - who was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known for Thirukkura?, a collection of couplets on ethics, politics and love. The second island has a temple dedicated to Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock.
The bridges aspire to be extremely sculptural and elegant but need to be subservient to both the statue and the temple in order to not visually compete.
The bridges use the Indian symbol of the lotus as the generator of its form.
The brief required a covered walkway so the bridges were conceived of as being formed of two parts. The first, a simple but sculpted deck and the second a lotus-like petal to create shading along the walkway.
These simple forms are modular and repeated along the length of the bridge to create a rhythm. The curvature of the deck is concave for the first bridge and convex on the second ‰ÛÒ meeting tangentially. The curve of the deck was critical to ensure that the statue could be viewed on approach from the mainland.
The materiality of the bridges is concrete to achieve a timeless and scaleless form that is sympathetic to both the temple, statue and the ruggedness of the islands and their surrounding rocks.
The lighting of the bridges is achieved using a simple uplighter on each petal, to create a rhythmic light pattern.