Unveiling the design of future Champlain Bridge


Arup-led team delivers an unprecedented and innovative definition design for the New Bridge for the St. Lawrence in Montreal.

A successful partnership between engineers and architects creates a place-sensitive, iconic bridge design.

MONTREAL (June 27, 2014) –Arup, Dissing+Weitling, and Provencher Roy Associés Architectes are delighted to reveal the design of the New Bridge for the St. Lawrence, as announced today by the Government of Canada

As technical advisor and engineers on the project, Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, was tasked with delivering a high quality architectural design for the new bridge. Working closely with the Government of Canada, architects Dissing+Weitling of Denmark, and Provencher Roy Associés Architectes of Montreal, and with the support of Groupe SM for highway components, the team has created a unique signature bridge design, sensitive to the needs of Montreal and with the appeal to become a new icon for the St. Lawrence River, the city of Montreal and Canada as a whole.

“We are very pleased with the way the engineering and architectural teams have seamlessly worked together to come up with a design that addresses the needs of the city of Montreal and its citizens”, said Martin Landry, QAA, associate principal and leader of Arup’s Montreal office. “As a Montrealer, I look forward to seeing the bridge realized over the next few years, supporting the needs of the public, and creating a new gateway to the City of Montreal.”

The architectural features of the new three kilometer-long bridge are poetic in their imagery, while at the same time respecting rigorously defined technical criteria required to achieve a 125-year design life. The curved alignment and sculptural piers create an instantly recognizable shore-to-shore design with the elegant main tower and its harp of cables adding a unique accent to the bridge. The design accommodates the long term Quebec public transport plans by retaining the flexibility to run buses or a future light rail train on a central transit corridor. Connectivity between the South Shore and Montreal is further enhanced with a multiple-use path over the bridge and viewing platforms both on and near the bridge that will showcase views of the city and the St. Lawrence River.

“The design of the bridge is to a great extent based on analyses and logic, but at a certain point the analyses no longer give the answer” explains Poul Ove Jensen, Bridge Director and architect at Dissing+Weitling. “Sometimes you have to trust intuition and make subjective choices. This is when it gets exciting because these choices make the difference between a decent bridge and an outstanding bridge.”

The Arup team has also contributed to a new procurement approach with the Government of Canada as this will be the first time that a Canadian public-private partnership procurement will include a definition design for a bridge which ensures that the architectural vision is realized in the finished product while leaving the freedom for innovation to the short listed consortia bidding to design, construct and operate the new bridge.

“The collaboration with Poul Ove Jensen’s team and Arup was rich and unique in terms of creation and research”, said Claude Provencher, architect and associate principal at Provencher_Roy. “With a major goal of developing a world-class bridge for Montreal, the result of this collaboration is a custom designed bridge to the image of the country, the St. Lawrence River, the Montreal region, the people who live in it and the generations to come.”

About Arup
Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. Its engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world. Arup opened its first North American office 25 years ago and its first Canadian office in 1999, and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. The firm was founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values that fosters a distinctive culture, intellectual independence and collaborative approach. The people at Arup are driven to find a better way to deliver better solutions for their clients. (www.arup.com)

About Dissing+Weitling
DISSING+WEITLING is a leading bridge architectural firm on the international stage. The firm has designed several of the world’s iconic bridges, including Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong, the Great Belt Link in Denmark, and the winning scheme for the Poole Harbour Bridge competition in the UK, among other award-winning designs around the globe.

Having been involved in over 250 bridges in 29 countries, its extensive portfolio of work includes bridge projects of all types, ranging from carefully articulated pedestrian bridges to seminal, long-span structures.

Provencher_Roy, founded in 1983, is a predominant player in urban architecture in Canada, and is a multidisciplinary firm offering services in architecture, architectural planning, urban design and urban planning, interior design, and sustainable development. The firm brings together more than 150 passionate professionals working in all areas of the built environment in Canada and abroad. Its portfolio includes remarkable accomplishments in the institutional, science, transportation, and educational sectors, as well as mixed-use buildings combining offices, hotels, and retail. the group’s innovative approach has been to anticipate the impact of architectural conception and design in time and space, emphasizing the concept of openness and a holistic view of a gesture rooted in modernity, which forms an integral part of urban landscapes.

The firm is also a member of the exclusive club of Canadian architectural firms with projects built abroad (Canadian embassy in Morocco; Diamond Peninsula Hotel in Dongguan, China; the race course gardens in Karachi, Pakistan; and MediCity, an ultramodern institute of integrated medical sciences and holistic therapy in Gurgaon, India).

Over the years, Provencher_Roy has received more than 70 awards and distinctions recognizing the excellence of its projects in Quebec, Canada, and abroad.