The Royal Victoria Dock Bridge is a signature high-level footbridge crossing the Royal Victoria Dock in the Docklands area of east London designed by London-based architects and designers Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.
The visual appearance of the bridge reflects the context of the docks where preserved high masted dock cranes tower alongside new housing and the new exhibition centre with its large span structures reminiscent of the old warehouses which once lined the dock. The design also hints at the dock's future use for leisure and sailing with the use of marine elements in the form of masts, transporter bridge with high level walkway. The new bridge is a key link in the strategic route from the River Tharnes, through the Thames Barrier Park and Silvertown Urban Village, to the future Exhibition Centre and existing rail stations on the north side of the Dock.
The bridge takes the form of an inverted Fink truss - as the Forthside Pedestrian Bridge - with six masts rising above the deck at 25.5 m (84 ft) centres, varying in height from almost 30 m (100 ft) at each end to just 10.6 m (35 ft) for the smallest masts.
The shape of the bridge is designed to reflect the masts of the sailing boats which use the dock. The bridge crosses the dock with a clearance of some 15 m (50 ft) above the water, a height which was necessary to allow yachts to pass below the bridge deck. It is accessed at each end by lift and stair towers.
The design uses high strength materials to accentuate the lightness of the design. The bridge materials have been designed for low maintenance and endurance combined with richness and quality. These include hardwood decking and handrails with perforated stainless steel clad aluminium stair towers. The balustrading is formed from cast aluminium uprights with perforated stainless steel infill panels.
The whole bridge is illuminated to complement the structural form with mast top projectors highlighting pylons and cables. The ribs of the bridge deck soffit and balustrade are brought alive by concealed strip lighting and the stair cores glow with blue light which reflects in the dark waters of the dock.
The bridge was completed in 1998, at a cost of PS5 million. A second construction stage envisaged in the bridge's design involves the addition of a glass passenger cabin travelling on a rail of the underside of the deck to make this a transporter bridge.