This oak bridge sits in the narrowing of a lake in the grounds of a private house in Berkshire.
Double Curved Form
The double curved design creates a natural pause at the centre of the bridge, from which the surrounding gardens can be viewed. To achieve this curved form, we used techniques often associated with boat-building. We constructed the bridge using a combination of English oak, marine plywood and steel. This achieved the strength required for such a large span, whilst maintaining the desired aesthetic.
We formed the curved handrail and balustrade by laminating thinner pieces of oak together to create the required section in a curved form. Laminating is the process of layering and glueing pieces of timber together to create larger sections. This technique both increases strength and considerably reduces waste.
The Varnished Look
We often leave oak untreated to weather to a natural silver-grey colour. However, in this case, the client was keen to retain the ‘new oak’ look, so we varnished the bridge in a French yacht oil called Le Tonkinois. This oil is hardwearing and protects against UV damage, whilst remaining flexible. Applying paint, oil or varnish to a natural timber product does come with maintenance requirements. We recommend reapplying oils and varnishes at least annually, depending on the location of the project.
We love designing and building bridges, in oak as well as other species of timber. Have a look at our bridges page for more inspiration.