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Intertwine Bridge, Reykjavík, Iceland by MASS lab

Project name:
Intertwine Bridge
Architecture firm:
MASS lab
Reykjavík, Iceland
Tools used:
Principal architect:
Duarte Ramalho Fontes
Design team:
Duarte Fontes, Giacomo Cruciani, Riccardo Bettini, Amr Ragaei, Arianna di Giampietro, Anna Pabjanczyk
Built area:
48.900 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Engineering: Adão da Fonseca engenheiros consultores. Consultants: SEI Studio
Vegageroin and The City of Reykjavik
Idea competition proposal

MASS lab: In Reykjavik, Iceland, while the bridge over Fossvogur is a unique and iconic structure, its character and essence are rooted in making the shoreline accessible to the community. This new gateway from one community to another is activated with programs that showcase the region's cultural and natural features.

From divider to connector

The primary aim of the bridge over Fossvogur is to improve the transport connections between Reykjavík and Kópavogur. The bridge is a key project in developing the area’s public space and is designed to be part of the city bigger plan with recreational, ecological and tourist activities in mind. It is set to become a landmark attraction and is intended to support environmentally friendly transport options in the area like public buses, cyclists and pedestrians in accordance with the goals of the city plans.

As branches, the hovering structure bends and turns

The design builds upon and connects to the existing paths on both sides of the shore and creates a new topography for the public to engage and explore. Suggested programmatic elements are also extended along the shoreline to encourage visitors to spend time on the bridge and the neighboring communities throughout the year.

The project works as an anchor as it is rooted inside both sides of the bay creating a continuous connection with the existing roads along the shores, while the bridge itself works as a bundle of paths that are intertwined together by the two ends of the bridge. The intervention is unfolded over three different contextual conditions: the urban axe, the green path and the toolkit system. While paying all the respect to Borgalina plan design principals including the streets dimensions and the relationship between the different lanes as well as the crossings.

Structure as a sine wave

The soft curves of the bridge are tailored to the speed and movements of the many pedestrians and cyclists crossing it daily. The intertwined form is utilized to enrich the experience of cyclists and pedestrians, providing different focal points at different moments of the trip and a stronger relationship with the surrounding landscape.

The structural idea is inspired by the organic geometry of the waves, resulting in concrete arches creating one continuous wave line that gets a lower amplitude when it gets closer to the shore securing the sloppiness needed for the deck as well as creating a visual resonance with the meanders and the ripples of the moving water surface of the bay.


MASS lab is a progressive and contemporary design studio engaged in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and comprehensive planning. The Porto based studio was founded in 2014 and is owned and operated by 3 partners: Diogo Rocha, Duarte Fontes and Lourenço Rodrigues. The supporting multidisciplinary design team spans seven nationalities and features a fertile mix of professional and educational backgrounds. The core team is complemented with a strong and growing network of collaborators across Europe.

MASS lab is currently working to realise a diverse and exciting portfolio of projects in Portugal and abroad, specially in Scandinavia that range from public spaces, buildings and masterplans that have resulted from successful competitions, pre-qualifications and direct commissions. In 2016 MASS lab settled a branch in Copenhagen.

By Liliana Alvarez

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