In conjunction with Buckland Taylor Engineers, MacDonald Architects submitted two designs for a bridge to span the historic Rideau Waterway. These two schemes pay homage to the waterway's scenic, natural, and cultural attributes.
The first bridge scheme creates a strong first impression with the prow shaped structure, projecting out to the river and her boaters. The prow of the bridge forms a belvedere opening the bridge up for the pedestrians, allowing them to join in the boater’s enjoyment of the articulated structure. This V-shaped form becomes the defining characteristic for this bridge and is echoed in the structure, fences, railing and lighting. In addition to reflecting on the traditional forms, it uses these same shapes to interpret how the ice breaks up. The V-form is reflective of both the shape of the bridge piers designed to withstand the force of the ice floes in the river and the patterns of the ice breaking up as it flows down the river.
The alternative scheme for the bridge is formed by a series of arches in the plan, section, and details of the bridge. These arches are reflective of water movement and the ecology of the waterway. The wave form breaks up the bridge creating resting points and belvederes, which allow for enjoying the views of the scenic beauty as well as examining the forms of the structure below. The series of supporting arches and the reflections of them in the water create a visual passage for the boaters on their journey.