The Laguna Garzón Bridge is a bridge crossing the Laguna Garzón in Uruguay, on the border between the Maldonado and Rocha departments. The bridge is famous for its unusual circular shape and was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. It is designed in a circular shape to force drivers to slow down, and allows for pedestrian access along the one-way circular route, including crosswalks that allow pedestrian access to either the inner or outer sidewalks of the circle.
The bridge’s 16 round concrete pillars, placed 20 meters (65 feet) apart, support two ramps and a central ring road that crosses the lagoon. Pedestrian walkways on either side of the split traffic lanes give access to the bridge’s central opening and its perimeter, where visitors can sit, fish, and take in the views.
Tall enough for boats to pass freely underneath and engineered with the fewest possible pillars, the bridge was carefully designed to protect its existing ecosystem. By separating the circular bridge’s two roadways, the design reduces the time that any given spot on the water surface is continuously shaded as the sun moves across the sky and minimizes the contiguous area impacted by the shade, which improves light penetration and dispersal across the water column.
FIRM: Rafael Vinoly Architects, Uruguay
TYPE: Transport + Infrastructure › Highway Bridge
Laguna Garzón Bridge