Venice Gets a Grip on a Star Architect’s Slippery Bridge
The city will replace the glass on Santiago Calatrava’s footbridge across the Grand Canal with stone after too many pedestrians fell.
By Emma Bubola
Jan. 2, 2022
VENICE — As tourists wandered obliviously on the glass floor of the footbridge, locals proceeded with caution. Venetians made sure to walk on the narrow stone strip at the center, some lifting fogged glasses to keep their eyes on the ground. When a visitor tripped, they barely lifted their gaze.
“That is not a bridge,” said Angelo Xalle, 71, a retired port worker who recalled helping people with broken chins or foreheads get up from its sleek floor. “It’s a trap.”
The bridge, Ponte della Costituzione, by the star architect Santiago Calatrava, is a multimillion-dollar work of glass and steel that opened in 2008. Its smooth curve above the Grand Canal, near Venice’s train station, was meant to symbolize the city’s embrace of modernity, but it has become better known as a stage for ruinous tumbles and dangerous slips.
Now, after years of protests and problems, the city has decided to replace the translucent glass with less slippery — and less glamorous — trachyte stone.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/02/worl ... ridge.html
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