The Intiem Love Bridge, constructed in Pretoria as a Cool Capital intervention, was launched in September.

Pretoria now boasts its very own romantic landmark, the INTIEM Love Bridge, which was inaugurated at a gala event on 6 September, as part of International Marriage Week. A Cool Capital Biennale 2014 initiative, the idea of a love bridge was conceptualised by INTIEM magazine and was brought to life in partnership with sister magazines Walls & Roofs in Africa and Floors in Africa.

The initiative was embraced by the public, media and various celebrities who attended the launch to attach their locks, on which their names were engraved, on the bridge and throw their keys into the canal.

“The launch of this bridge was an astounding success,” enthuses Liezel van der Merwe, managing editor of INTIEM, INTIMACY4US and Floors in Africa magazines and founder of Marriage Week. “We wanted everyone to affirm their love for one another while reminding themselves of the eternal bond of their marriage vows.”

The 2014 Cool Capital Biennale aims to introduce the public to a wealth of art, architecture, urban- and graphic design, and encourages citizens to bring about visual, perceptual and actual change to Pretoria through civic interventions.

Designed by architects Johan and Grete Wentzel from W design architecture studio, the bridge is situated at Huckleberry’s in Magnolia Dell in Pretoria. The permanent structure of about 9m by 3m is supported by reinforced concrete footing, and includes a walkway covered with beautiful EcoWood composite decking, a pergola roof on the one side and a seating bench on the other.

In association with ML Hugo Consulting Engineers, Gert Visser Steelworks and Toon Korb as the surveyor, the bridge was constructed in such a manner that it won’t damage the integrity of the existing bridge and that it will be able to withstand the weight of about 500kg per square metre. A disclaimer was also placed on the bridge stating that the number of locks will be managed and locks may be removed at the engineer’s discretion. This is crucial to avoid the weight dilemma faced by Paris’s love bridge.

The project received ample support from various companies in the form of time, money and expertise, and all the materials used on the Love Bridge were generously sponsored.

“Seeing that this project was part of Cool Capital, it was amazing to experience how people are so positive about doing something for the city and how everyone came together to make this happen in a very short time, without expecting anything in return,” comments Grete.

Convenor of Cool Capital, Pieter Mathews says that it is wonderful that the Intiem Love Bridge project exposes the public to good architecture. “One of our conditions was to leave the architects be and they designed a beautiful, modernistic, contemporary pavilion. The spirit of Cool Capital is after all to bring quality design to the public and give exposure to contemporary architecture in the city.”

The Love Bridge was made possible by:
•    Walls & Roofs in Africa.
•    Floors in Africa.
•    Intiem.
•    W design architecture studio.
•    ML Hugo Consulting Engineers.
•    Gert Visser Staalwerke.
•    EcoWood.
•    Baldwins Metal Land.
•    Belgotex Floorcoverings.
•    Arcelor Mittal.
•    1Life.
•    Huckleberrys restaurant.
•    SA Marriage Week.
•    Cool Capital.