19.8.2020

Tervassilta bridge

The neighbourhood of Isokuusi in the Vuores district of Tampere is one of the largest wooden town projects in Finland. The wooden area in Vuores, known locally as “Puuvuores”, features an impressive bridge built entirely of wood. This bridge connects the central and western parts of the Isokuusi wooden town.

The Tervassilta bridge is an important part of the Isokuusi wooden town. On 21st May 2014, the City of Tampere signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere University of Applied Sciences and the Natural Resources Institute Finland in order to promote timber construction. The target of the agreement is to significantly increase the use of timber construction and wood product solutions in Finland and to promote their export, as well as energy and resources-efficient timber construction with low-carbon goals in Tampere.

The Vuores landscape is characterised by lakes and variable terrain. Isokuusi is a smaller centre within the larger district of 14,000 residents. The wooden bridge connects the central blocks, consisting of wooden buildings, with the western part of the area. The bridge is 40 metres long and links the parks and sports areas in the centre of Vuores to the beach and shore of Lake Särkijärvi.

The aim of the bridge DESIGN was to make it appear light and unassuming. The superstructure, consisting of high glued-laminated beams, is made lighter in appearance by the railing structure, which is made of horizontal bead-planed battens. Lengthwise, the arching see-through railings are a contrast to the bridge’s sturdy load-bearing structures. The slanting bridge piers, also made out of glued laminated timber, link the design of the bridge with the other bridges in Vuores whose main materials are steel, concrete and glass.

The superstructure of the bridge consists of longitudinal glued laminated beams, on top of which there is a cross-directional planked deck made out of sawn timber. The deck superstructure has cap plates at its ends, made from glued laminated timber, to support the approach embankment of the bridge. The bridge piers are circular and consist of glued laminated timber columns and beams. The bridge piers are put together using pinned joints. Finished in this way, the joints are hidden inside the wood and there was no need to cover the wood with external splicing pieces. The bridge abutments placed on the banks are made out of reinforced concrete. The bridge deck has two lanes for motor vehicles and one for pedestrians and cyclists.

AFTER DARK, this understated bridge takes on an illuminating role. The lighting is integrated into the wooden structures and mostly positioned out of sight. The LED-lighting recessed into the underside of the handrails lights up the footpath. The bridge has a lighting program which changes according to the time of day and season. The bridge has a glazed brown finish to give it a clear, warm appearance.

Project in brief

Tervassilta bridge

  • Location | Vuores, Tampere
  • Purpose | Bridge for motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists
  • Constructor/Client | City of Tampere
  • Architectural Design | Insinööritoimisto Suunnittelukide Oy and Arkkitehtuuritoimisto B & M Oy
  • Structural design | Suunnittelukide Oy, Jarmo Niemi, Ville Vuorio
  • Contractor | Kreate Oy
  • Year completed | 2015
  • Photographs | Marta de Abreu Hartman, Susanna Lyly and Pentti Putaja
  • Text | Tuomas Seppänen and Pertti Tamminen