Hulme Arch

Manchester, UK

Hulme, in Manchester, had been divided in two with the building of a major road cutting in the 1960s, and the re-establishment of a route between the two halves of the community was a key factor in the regeneration of the area. Won in an international competition, our design focused on an asymmetrical arch which spans diagonally over both the new road bridge and the cutting below, acting as a gateway for drivers and pedestrians on both high and low level routes.

The design achieves visual complexity from geometric simplicity. The 25m-high arch is parabolic in form: its trapezoidal section tapering in opposite directions in both plan and elevation. Two sets of cable stays are arranged to interlock and overlap, fanning out in opposite directions to create a set of planes which twist and change as the driver passes below.