A new footbridge that connects two significant sites of democracy and egalitarianism has opened in Melbourne.

Designed by John Wardle Architects in collaboration with Boston-based NADAAA, the Tanderrum Bridge links the parklands of Birrarung Marr on the Yarra River’s north bank, with the outer courts of Melbourne Park, which hosts the Australian Open tennis tournament every year. Those attending the event can also use the bridge to safely make their way from Melbourne’s main train station Flinders Street to the sporting precinct. The project represents the second successful collaboration between John Wardle Architects and NADAAA after the completion of the Melbourne School of Design in 2014.

The Tanderrum Bridge begins at Birrarung Marr’s lower terrace and takes a detour to an area that provides a vantage view into Speakers’ Corner, a heritage-listed place associated with important events in Australia’s democratic history. The other end of the bridge is sited at the outer courts of Melbourne Park, known worldwide for being a very egalitarian sporting venue.

The bridge features a flat steel girder structure encased in concrete, and then wrapped in a lightweight filigree-like skin of steel rods. The filigree theme continues on the non-structural elements of the bridge such as balustrades, gateway elements and lighting.

Tanderrum Bridge is part of the Victorian government’s $338 million stage two redevelopment of Melbourne Park that also includes an eight-storey administration and media centre by Hassell and the refurbishment of Rod Laver Arena by Cox Architecture.