L2 Architects. The Akrobaten pedestrian bridge – A symbol in Bjorvika

There is two ways to cross the 19 railroad tracks of the Oslo Central Station, either you run across the train rails, or you can use the Akrobaten pedestrian bridge that connects the old town to the newly developed area of the city facing the Oslo fjord.akrobaten


Built by L2 Architects and open in 2011, this bridge of steel and glass is a great piece of design and civil engineering.

This immense 206m long bridge was built under a single premise: minimal disturbance to the rail traffic. A challenge similar to the one faced by Eiffage, the French construction company, that realized the Viaduc de Millau 2.

The engineers first solved the problem by building 4 pillars located between the railroad tracks, then lifting the triangular truss.

ECCS Award For Steel Bridges in 2012.


This triangular truss, both impressive and reassuring, works much like a crane. Its shape is completely functional, turning the vertical elements into load-bearing girders, and the triangulation is used in the construction for the distribution of forces.

This long prismatic frame supports the platform with ultra thin stayed cables which make the deck look surprisingly light and elegant. A straight glass balustrade frames the walkway on one side, while the other side draws a zigzag line. This shape brings a new experience of movement changing the flow of people, making room for rest stops or more serene walks.


Although this bridge crosses 19 active railroad tracks, we can hear our own steps and communicate in a normal speaking voice. This is dues to the head high glass balustrades, the rough floor and the suspended supporting structure, which create an excellent acoustical space around the pedestrian.

This bridge highlights many advantages of steel in construction and architecture.



The pedestrian bridge was awarded the first prize in the category, “Pedestrian and bicycle bridges” at The European Awards for Steel Bridges. Now, this new structure has become a strong symbol in this part of the city.

Nicolas Berthet

  1.  The pedestrian bridge, Akrobaten (the Acrobat), in Bjorvika, Oslo. Photo: L2 Architects AS 
  2. Millau, France, 2001
  3. ECCS Award For Steel Bridges in 2012.
  4. Akrobaten Bridge, Oslo. Fotografi av Fotograf og kunstner Christian Christensen NYNP