OMA / Shohei Shigematsu Reveals Design of Jojutla Pedestrian Bridge in Mexico

OMA New York designed a pedestrian bridge of 145 meters over the Apatlaco River, Jojutla de Juarez. This was part of an overall reconstruction effort by Infonavit (National Workers’ Housing Fund Institute), following the 2017 earthquakes.

Cortesía de OMA New York

The weakening of the structure caused the collapse of houses along the banks of the Apatlaco River. The major drainage line that runs through the city was also damaged and sections were destroyed. Open spaces that were supposed to be open parks or amenities were abandoned and taken over by the landfill.

We are now more likely to be faced with natural disasters. The wide-ranging effects require more public space and resources that can be integrated into resilience design. The Jojutla Bridge was built in response to Mexico’s frequent earthquakes. It aims at restoring infrastructure and the spirit of community. The two datums are intended to simultaneously connect not just two but three fractured communities, prevent disasters beyond earthquakes through mitigating flooding potential, and offer new amenities to revive people’s connection to a river that is currently feared or ignored.

Shohei Shigematsu, OMA Partner

Cortesía de OMA New York
Cortesía de OMA New York
Cortesía de OMA New York

According to architects, the bridge is designed to “dodge private property, crossing the river two times, and anchoring itself at three distinct points in the city: Panchimalco (a colony south-east of the municipal capital); the blocks at Pacheco alley’s bottom, close to the historic centre; and the Juarez neighborhood which was the most central, but most severely damaged by the earthquake.”

Cortesía de OMA New York/CCA, Modelo y Fotografía por CCA
Cortesía de OMA New York/CCA, Modelo y Fotografía por CCA
Cortesía de OMA New York
Cortesía de OMA New York
Cortesía de OMA New York

OMA New York explained that the pedestrian bridge is akin to an I-beam and gives way to a double-decker concrete structure. The bridge’s upper deck provides shade and a higher datum for pedestrian and bicyclist paths. The “flanges”, which allow for mobility and a large surface for occupiable space, also permit for mobility. The I-beam’s web is perforated along the length of the bridge. Its various sizes of habitable openings serve as undefined spaces, benches and stairs. They also provide access to doors that allow for a variety of activities and paces.

Cortesía de OMA New York
Cortesía de OMA New York
Cortesía de OMA New York

Project Team:

Partner-in-Charge: Shohei Shigematsu
Project Architect Shary Twil
Team: Francisco Waltersdorfer, Vicky Daroca, Patricio Fernandez
Executive Architect: CCA/Bernardo Quinzanos
Structure: WSP