Located just 56km (35 miles) north-west of central London, Luton Airport is one of the UK's largest airports and a major base for constantly increasing low-cost air travel. Part of the airport’s impending rapid transit system, the newly built DART Bridge is the direct air rail transit link between Luton Airport Parkway train station and Luton Airport. The passengers transfer from the Parkway Station directly to the terminal will now last only 4 minutes.
Split between coming and going, arrival and departure, rising and landing, the airport was sensed as a symbol of dualism by Knight Architects. As such, an asymmetric geometry was considered the emblematic translation of this dichotomy into an architectural structure. In their vision, the bridge should have been able to draw the attention of the passengers to the sky above while stretching out to the stars.
Spanning 72m across the congested Airport Way, the top chord of the bridge shapes a parabola, which, rising tangentially from the deck, dwindles into a slender profile fading in the distance. Mainly viewed from below, the truss designs an attractive arc, which perfectly embodies the virtual link between earth and sky.
Product specification and installation
NG Bailey, Max Knight Senior project Engineer
WILA Lighting UK
Pictures and video footage: David Stewart