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Modern architecture in Andorra: Paris Bridge and Madrid Bridge

Andorra is a country marked by contrasts, where architecture and nature coexist in constant harmony, transforming the landscape in a unique way.

Modern, avant-garde constructions such as the Paris Bridge and the Madrid Bridge have made it easier to circulate inside the country, establishing connections and overcoming geographical challenges such as the extensive course of the Valira River that crosses Andorra la Vella.


Although they are two different projects, located on opposite sides of the capital, both have many similarities in their design, such as the irregular platforms, the spherical anchorages and the mixed structure (concrete and steel).


Another common feature between the two works is the adaptation to the terrain, which has required a series of measures to be taken to minimise the impact on the Valira river, thus avoiding the alteration of its course. For this reason, a system of braces anchored in height has been chosen, which has allowed the buildings to be integrated into each environment in a more organic and efficient way.


In the case of the Paris bridge, it is a construction located right in the centre of Andorra la Vella (42.50938231435847, 1.5312794567362926) and joins the Avenues Consell d'Europa and Mitjavila. It is made up of an upper arch and two layouts, a straight one that is 45 metres long and a semi-circular one that takes up 27 metres. It has an anchoring system using 36 mm and 50 mm metal bars contained in two 2.2 m diameter spheres connected to each other. The engineers Leonardo Fernández Troyano and Guillermo Ayuso Calle (Estudio Carlos Fernández Casado S.L.) are the authors of the work, which was completed in 2005 and inaugurated on 27 January 2006.


According to technical specifications, the use of bars instead of cables to support the bridge was a solution to reduce the size of the anchorages to a minimum.


The Madrid Bridge is located on the CG1 (42.48836271596191, 1.4957336484412835) in the direction of the Spanish border and has been a key part of the access to the capital from the south of the principality. In contrast to its twin, the Paris Bridge, this construction has an upper structure made up of a single sphere of 4 metres in diameter which serves as an anchorage for the stay cables supporting the base of the bridge and which are fastened to a piece of concrete placed on the rock on a side slope. In this case, the stays supporting the viaduct are made up of 75 mm diameter bars anchored to the inside of the sphere. The work was designed and managed by the Carlos Fernández Casado S.L. studio in Madrid, in conjunction with SUPORT Enginyers S.A. of Andorra la Vella. The work was completed towards the end of 2006 and inaugurated at the beginning of 2008.

panoramic view of the Madrid bridge

The geometric aesthetic with triangular shapes of both works responds to a need for integration with the terrain, but also optimisation and efficiency in circulation which, alongside the visual impact that each one transmits in their respective locations, brings a modern and avant-garde air to the city.


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