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Coastal and sea defence work in 2004 to protect local properties and surrounding geology made the 1970s concrete bridge, located on Newtons Road, look dated and out of place.  

A new bridge was designed to reduce the visual footprint of the original concrete bridge by creating a light and elegant structure, using stainless steel.  

Originally Dorset County Council had planned to put ramps on the banks either side of Newtons road, when the old concrete bridge was demolished.  However, after a campaign by local residents and community groups, the council was able to find money to fund a new bridge.  

The client wanted a natural finish in a neutral colour to complement the surrounding Jurassic coastline.  The designs for the surfacing on the bridge deck, incorporating intricate shapes and patterns, were created by Chris Tipping. Chris said:  

“Inspiration came from the maps we use and annotate with crosses and marks to navigate the landscape - including the South West Coastal Path but also from more ephemeral and fleeting things such as the effects of light and shadow - both on land and water - the distant arcs of chalk cliffs and dots and dashes of sailboats far out at sea and the flight of birds”.

A versatile, durable product was required to be able to accurately recreate the designs within the bridge surface.

SureSet permeable resin bound paving was the ideal solution for the bridge; versatile, functional and aesthetically pleasing.   

Dorset County Council enlisted our expertise to complete the surfacing for the new footbridge at Newtons Cove in Weymouth that forms part of the South West Coastal path, which extends along the coastline from Poole Harbour to Clevedon in North Somerset.   

We used colours from our Natural Aggregate range to complete the stylish design created by artist Chris Tipping.   

The design incorporated the cartographic symbols found on old ordnance survey maps from which the artist found his inspiration.  These symbols were also reflected in the bridge structure.

“This project has been a great success.  It was a collaborative response and the team worked hard to get the very best from the opportunity.  

Although the basic structure of the footbridge had been decided upon by the time I was commissioned there was still a lot of scope to develop a concept that embedded another level of creativity and contextual response to the outcome.  

As an artist working on site specific projects, contextual issues and issues surrounding local identity are paramount to the success of the work and underpins the results.  

This project is most definitely a response to the location and the function of the structure as both a footbridge and viewing platform.  

I hadn't been to Weymouth before and the location of the bridge is truly stunning. The seaward backdrop of the Jurassic Coast is magnificent and a more suitable viewing point for looking out at the bay would be hard to find.  

The design of elements on the bridge - from the laser cut stainless steel parapets - to the SureSet bespoke resin bound aggregate inlaid detailing - reflect this spectacular coastal vision.  

Inspiration came from the maps we use and annotate with crosses and marks to navigate the landscape - including the South West Coastal Path but also from more ephemeral and fleeting things such as the effects of light and shadow - both on land and water - the distant arcs of chalk cliffs and dots and dashes of sailboats far out at sea and the flight of birds etc.  

SureSet were very helpful throughout and contributed to the project significantly by providing creative solutions as to how the bespoke aggregate detailing could be installed successfully.  

The footbridge is almost uncannily positioned to benefit as a platform from which to view events playing out here at the Olympics in 2012.   I would hope that local people use the bridge and enjoy the views. The site now has a strong and robust identity with which to identify and promote itself. The whole team have generated this outcome and I think it impossible to separate the form from the function.”

“SureSet were very helpful throughout and contributed to the project significantly by providing creative solutions as to how the bespoke aggregate detailing could be installed successfully.”

Chris Tipping, artist

Key Features

  • Natural Aggregate: 6mm 6mm Sterling Silver, Charcoal, Winter Frost, Harvest Buff
  • Application: footbridge, creative paving
  • Area: 127m²