As part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd) commissioned AECOM SA (Pty) Ltd (then BKS (Pty) Ltd) and Mathews + Associates Architects to design the lighting and parapet cladding for the Nellmapius bridge.
The bridge had to act as a gateway to the recently completed Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. The seemingly random design reflects the perceived character of the Gauteng province. The aesthetic of origami art is indicative of the varying yet interconnected facets of Gauteng.
The design development process of the Nellmapius Bridge façade was hands-on – various paper and cardboard models were created to conceptualise and visualize the final design. This investigation allowed us to explore the three-dimensional sculptural qualities which the bridge had to portray.
Although the design appears random, the manufacturing process had to be simple and effective. This process was simplified by only using two angles. Five panel types were designed according to these angles which allowed the panels to be interchanged as desired.