Koombana Footbridge honoured for urban design

Wednesday, 3 July 2019 

Bunbury’s iconic Koombana Footbridge has once again been recognised for its design this time taking out the Award for Urban Design at the Western Australian Architecture Awards. 

The unique and innovative design was also given a commendation for lighting. 

The bridge which links the Marlston Waterfront to Koombana Foreshore was designed by architects Gresley Abas and Cardno and built by Ertech and local company Hotweld. 

It was inspired by the many shipwrecks which have been discovered in the bay with each rib symbolising each of the wrecks. 

At night the bridge lights up and can be programmed to create a dramatic visual effect.  

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the bridge not only provided a link between two of Bunbury’s most popular precincts but had become an iconic landmark. 

“The bridge tells an important historical tale as well as looking sensational and has become an entry statement to the CBD,” Mayor Brennan. 

“It is a real credit to the designers who made their vision come to life and we are ecstatic the design has been recognised with yet another accolade.” 

Gresley Abas Director Philip Gresley said the team approached the bridge as an interpretative artwork and wanted to create a strong sense of place for pedestrians crossing the inlet and for people who see the bridge from a distance.  

“Because the site has significance for Aboriginal people – especially the Elaap who are Wardandi Noongar people – and for Europeans – we wove together two distinct narratives to create the unique shape.  

“It’s great to win an architecture award, but for us, the most satisfying aspect of this project is that people have embraced the bridge, and enjoy using it and seeing it lit up at night, and we are pleased that the design has become a local landmark.” 

The bridge was part of Stage One of the Transforming Waterfront Project which included the complete redevelopment of the Koombana Foreshore which has since become one of Bunbury’s tourist hotspots. 

The State Government’s Bunbury Development Committee Chairwoman Robyn Fenech said the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project was changing people’s perceptions of the city. 

“We always knew this pedestrian bridge was something special – now it’s official,” Ms Fenech said. 

“We are thrilled that once again an element from the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project has been recognised with an award.  

“With its striking design and coloured lighting, this truly is a landmark Bunbury can be proud of. We look forward to more of Bunbury’s waterfront transforming as stages two and three of the project progress.”