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26 February 2012 / leggypeggy

Tbilisi’s Bridge of Peace—a work of art?

Bridge of Peace

Bridge by night.

Opened in May 2010, the pedestrian Bridge of Peace is a showpiece in the centre of Tbilisi. It crosses the city’s Mtkvari (Kura) River—joining the old district with the new.

Designed by Italian architect, Michel de Lucchi, the bridge is all glass and steel. It’s bow-shaped roof is 150 metres long. During the day, the bridge sparkles in the sun. At night it is ablaze with a light display. French lighting director Philippe Martinaud created the light show, which has 30,000 LEDs and 240 sensors.

Apparently, the light display conveys messages which, according to Martinaud, celebrate ‘life and peace between people’. We walked over the bridge in daylight and in the dark, and while I noticed the lights flickering, I couldn’t really detect the messages, but then I didn’t know there were supposed to be any.

The bridge’s design has been criticised for clashing with Tblisi’s classic brick, woodwork and ornamental architecture. Similar criticism has been levelled against the president’s residence, another de Lucchi creation.

Clearly no one thought to put in a lift because the rubbish has to be carried out.

Hey, don’t forget to pick a number before 29 February 2012.

The clean-up crew at the Bridge of Peace.

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