Award-winning architect tells of delight at working on Renfrew Bridge project

Tony Kettle
Tony Kettle

A world-renowned architect has said it is ‘fantastic’ to be working on a project closer to home as his design of the £117 million Renfrew Bridge takes shape.

Tony Kettle, of Kettle Collective, is behind the design of the Renfrewshire Council project which will connect Renfrew with Yoker and Clydebank directly for the first time.

The Scottish architect’s previous work includes the design of the Falkirk Wheel, as well as the Dewa Solar Innovation Centre in Dubai and having a hand in the initial designs of Europe’s tallest building, the Lakhta Centre in St Petersburg.

Renfrew Bridge

Tony said, “It’s fantastic to work closer to home. It means more if you are given a chance to contribute to improving people’s lives close to where you live.

“Shipbuilding on the Clyde inspired our design. The visual history of cranes juxtaposed against each other and the way the dry docks are cut into the banks at an angle. The challenge was to capture that spirit of movement in the angles of the new bridge structure, and to accentuate the fact this is a moving structure, not just another static bridge.

“The Renfrew Bridge is both a physical and symbolic connection, a celebration of the coming together of two communities that will undoubtedly benefit from having closer ties. It will create a gateway and a destination that should bring more people together to enjoy the riverbank and celebrate the history and rich cultural heritage that they share.

“It was a rare opportunity to celebrate all that is special about this place, to remind people of the rich industrial heritage, of the globally recognised engineering and construction expertise that occurred on both banks of the Clyde. What better way to celebrate it than with a new innovative moving structure.”

Visiting the site to see the arrival of the final section of the bridge, Tony was delighted to see his designs come off the page and into existence.

He continued, “It’s fantastic to see the bridge in the flesh and I’m honoured and immensely grateful to the engineers and fabricators for their skills and ingenuity to make it a reality. I have learned over the years to be very patient as projects can be designed quickly but can take so long to materialise, so it’s great to see it arrive on the Clyde and for the project to move closer to completion.

“It will clearly improve transport connections between Clydebank, Yoker and Renfrew, but it will also give a focus and raise the profile of the towns as people and businesses are attracted to one of the longest span cable-stayed opening bridges in the world. People will be proud, and it will be a real landmark for the area and the seed for much wider regeneration.”