Friedman designed Bridge Towns with a two folded goal in mind: constructions connecting banks or shores and therefore countries, continents and communities, and making optimal use of the bridge structures for commerce, housing, harbor, warehouses and leisure.
Technically Bridge Towns are large oblong Ville Spatiale structures or Span Over Blocks serving as large bridges that integrate city functions.
The sense of connecting places that would otherwise be separated was a thrill that found a lot of response when the first published design for a Bridge Town in 1963 connected the United Kingdom with France over the Channel. (See for publications the Bibliography).
Equally symbolic and intentionally so, was the idea for the Administrative Centre of the European Union in 1990 to connect Germany with France over the river Rhine and the idea to connect the city of Tel Aviv in Israel with the Gaza Strip. (See further: projects below).
But it all started out in 1962 with studies for a bridge connecting Gibraltar (Spain) to Africa leading to the idea that four continents (North and South America, Asia, Arfica and Europe) are so closely positioned to one another that it would be feasible to connect them using bridge structures. To create these connections Friedman figured that a total of 400 kilometers of bridge structure would be needed, divided over eight Bridge Town structures to which the Bridge over the Channel would be added. Five bridges would serve to connect the major consumer markets, the others would serve to complete the continuity of easy access to the rest of the continents and linking places within continents. (See in Villes Ponts).
–principles Bridge Towns
–Villes Ponts, 1962
–Bridge Town over the Channel, 1963
–Administrative Centre EU, 1990
–Tel Aviv Peace Bridge, 1990
–Venice Projects, from 2000
–Huangpu River Centre Shanghai, 2002-2007
–Ville Pont Marseille, 2007
Related projects and studies
–Span Over Blocks, 1957-1958
–Principles Ville Spatiale
–Ville Spatiale, visualization of the principles
–Pavillion Future, Shanghai, 2007
–Exhibition in CAPC Bordeaux, 2008