02. September 2011
The people of Paris decided: the "Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir" pedestrian bridge constructed using Dillinger Hütte steel and inaugurated in 2006 is the city's most elegant example of contemporary architecture in the "Public Sector" category.
A ten-member jury headed by TV journalist Patrice Carmouze launched the poll in the French capital, and around 30,000 Parisians responded, casting their votes in seven categories for the "Prix Grand Public des Architectures Contemporaines de la Métropole Parisienne". The lenticular space at the bridge's centre resulting from the combined suspension bridge/arched configuration has in recent years become a popular gathering point for cultural activities, inviting visitors and passers-by to linger. The bridge impresses onlookers with its average width of 12 meters and length of 304 meters, achieved without any piers positioned in the Seine itself. Dillinger Hütte and its 100 % subsidiary GTS Industries (Dunkirk, France) supplied 1,500 tonnes of heavy plate - around 70 % of all the steel needed for the project - for this suspension bridge/arched bridge concept. Working in close co-ordination with architect Dietmar Feitchinger and the design team, Dillinger Hütte and GTS Industries made a vital contribution to the highly impressive result by assisting in the selection of exactly the right grades of steel. This, the city's fifth footbridge over the Seine, enhances communications between residents on the two banks of the river, linking the Parc de Bercy in the 12th Arrondissement with the National Library of France in the 13th Arrondissement on the opposite side. The "Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir" was completed within a construction period of two years, and today remains the only one of the thirty-seven bridges over the Seine to bear a woman's name. "La lentille", as the bridge, due to its geometry, is popularly known, had already received international acclaim in the form of the 2007 European Steel Award, and is, furthermore, by no means the first award-winning bridge in which high-quality Dillinger Hütte steel has played a vital role: in 2007, the "Gustave Flaubert" bridge in Rouen also received the European Steel Award, and the bridge over the Elbe at Mühlberg the German Bridge Design Award (in the "Road and Rail Bridges" category) in 2010.
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