"Living infrastructure", A study of bridges


"Living infrastructure": that is what engineer-architect Marc Mimram is offering in his study carried out in partnership with Lafarge. Generally poorly perceived, infrastructure is too often experienced as a necessary evil in cities. It is time to reconcile infrastructures and inhabitants!

Four bridges, four cities


Bridges, the ultimate infrastructure, lend themselves to the principle of this study. Marc Mimram proposes four innovative bridges suited to specific cities:

  • The "Landscape Bridge" in La Courneuve, France. The city, cut off from its park by a motorway, is typical of the unhealthy situation of suburbs whose living areas and centers are cut off from each other. Only breaking down the divide, with a rural aspect here, will enable this opening up which is needed so badly.

  • The "Rooftop Bridge" in Shanghai, China. Fascinating because of its rapid expansion, Shanghai is still confronted by mobility problems which mean road infrastructure is everywhere, both on the ground and overhead. Making the roofs of these bridges public means changing the very perception of these existing works.

  • The "The Accommodating Structure" in New York, United States. An icon of the vertical city due to its towers, the American megalopolis lays and submerges bridges which become homes, local halls, public spaces, etc.

  • The "Inhabited Structure" in Moscow, Russia. Marc Mimram's project ties in with the anthology image of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence over the Arno, by providing a total fusion between city and bridge.

Lafarge and concrete in architectural thinking

In the context of the study carried out by Marc Mimram, Ductal® ultra-high performance concrete appears to be the ideal physical solution for creating the engineer-architect's light and inventive forms.


View the exclusive interview with Marc Mimram in images!


Case study

Marc Hatzfeld, sociologist and observer of suburbs

Marc Hatzfeld confirms the poor perception of infrastructures. "Cities create a tension between two groups of players, decision-makers and inhabitants, which generally do not meet." According to him, the answers to the problem of seclusion necessarily involve a policy which dedicate space and the role of infrastructures to repair, revive and renew the urban fabric which has been forgotten or not completed. "Articulating flows and functions in the infrastructure must favor appropriation by the inhabitants, opening up and reconciliation of the city with its infrastructure," he adds.