walnut bridge guildford

For over 200 years, Walnut Bridge has provided an essential connection between the two parts of Guildford separated by the River Wey. But it had seen better days, and we were enlisted to help fix that.

The brief

Since the walnut trees that this historic bridge gained its name from were cut down in the 20th century due to disease, the area lacked the ambience that once pulled in local communities to gather and relax.

As such, Guildford Borough Council were keen to update Walnut Bridge as part of a larger scheme to provide safer, more accessible routes around the local town — especially between the train station and high street.

The new bridge would feature a wider footpath with a two-way cycle flow and would need to be fully accessible for users with reduced mobility. And none of this could be implemented without effective lighting, which is where DFL stepped in...

The solutions

Design and engineering consultancy Arcadis asked us to create a lighting scheme for the new bridge. So, we took their concept and created a 3D lighting and electrical design in DIALux, which painted an accurate picture of what the lighting would look like at various times of day.

Our lighting scheme needed to overcome numerous challenges. For example, as Guus Ketelings, lead designer on this project, explains, ‘One key objective for the visual was to achieve a uniform lighting scheme so that the area leading up to the bridge felt comfortable and spacious with a modern, 21st-century feeling (similar to the style of the bridge)’.

We also needed to protect nearby wildlife that could be disturbed by obtrusive lighting whilst keeping it away from the towpath and river itself. Plus, it was our job to ensure everything had a sufficient electrical supply. Basically, we had our work cut out. But we got it done!

In the end, we opted for bespoke tilted light stacks, which were designed by DW Windsor, to illuminate key elements of the bridge, like the handrail. We also kept all lighting to a low level, both in terms of intensity and height, to ensure sufficient visibility without causing a nuisance.

The final result

The final build is almost complete and we’re proud to have been a part of the redesign of this cherished area of Guildford’s heritage. What an honour to play a part in the area’s future!

Want to chat about your project? We’re all ears.

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