It’s Paddington’s newest landmark, it’s the Fan Bridge at Merchant Square. Designed by Knight Architects, the three-metre-wide cantilevered moving structure spans 20 metres across the head of the Basin, rising by means of hydraulic jacks – an action similar to that of a traditional Japanese hand fan.
The deck of the Fan Bridge is made of five beams, which came to Paddington by barge. The beams each open in sequence, with the first rising to an angle of 80 degrees; the four rising to lower levels.
The Rolling Bridge was conceived by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, designed by SKM Anthony Hunt with Packman Lucas, and built by Littlehampton Welding Ltd.
The bridge consists of eight triangular sections hinged at the walkway level and connected above by two-part links that can be collapsed towards the deck by hydraulic cylinders, which are concealed in vertical posts in the bridge parapets. When extended, it resembles a conventional steel and timber footbridge, and is 12 metres long.