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Merchant Square Fan Lift Bridge

We carried out the detailed mechanical design and supporting electrical and hydarulic specificaiton for the operating equipment for the Merchant Square Fan Bridge. The Fan Bridge is an award winning opening bridge at Paddington Basin. Built as part of the Paddington Waterside development, the bridge forms part of a premier commercial, residential and leisure quarter in the heart of the City of Westminster.

Key facts


Paddington, London


European Land

In Partnership with

Knight Architects, AKT II

Eadon first became involved in the project when they were approached to take part in a design competition in collaboration with Knight Architects and AKTII. Although there was an existing moving bridge in the location it did not fit with the master plan of the new development, and so an alternative design was developed to match the clients brief of an efficient high quality bridge delivered on a strict budget. 

Eadon Consulting worked closely with AKTII and Knight Architects to produce a mechanical design that complemented the structure and its surroundings. The design was progressed all the way though to the detailed mechanical design drawings supported by exemplar electrical and hydraulic specifications. The bridge, which is one of several unique bridges along the same stretch of the Grand Union canal, consists of 5 separate beams. When raised each beam moves at a slightly different speed, meaning that the opening motion is similar to that of Japanese fan.

Beneath each deck is a hydraulic cylinder which is responsible for raising the 26m long fingers to between 16 and 67 degrees. Whilst the external appearance and dimensions of the cylinders are the same, the stroke of each cylinder is limited to give the splayed appearance of the decks in the raised position. To reduce the load on the hydraulic cylinders a sculptural counter weight is located above and behind each of the pivots. These form an area of interest when the bridge is down and a flat surface when in the raised position.

The bridge officially opened in September 2014 and has generated global design recognition.

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