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British firm Knight Architects and structural engineers AKT have designed and completed a new moving footbridge in Paddington, London, that opens and closes like the blades of a traditional Japanese hand-held fan. The bridge consist of five steel beams, stabilized with counterweights, that rise and fall in sequence to create a fan-like effect. The first rises to 70 degrees, while the last lifts high enough to create a clearance space of two and a half meters over the surface of the canal over which it spans. The bridge is three meters across and straddles a 20-meter width of the Grand Union Canal in Paddington Basin, close to Thomas Heatherwick's Rolling Bridge that curls into a ball.

The architects, who specialize in bridge design, won a limited competition to design the crossing in 2012 with their plans for a "kinetic sculpture" that could rise to allow canal boats to pass along the waterway.

paddington-fan-bridge-1

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