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Future Conscious Melbourne
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Tanderrum Bridge, Melbourne, Australia

Location: Batman Avenue, Melbourne, Australia
Year built: Completed in 2016
Architect: John Wardle

Completed in 2016 in Melbourne, Australia, the Tanderrum Bridge is a major pedestrian thoroughfare linking the Melbourne Park sports precinct with Birrarung Marr. The grand structure, which respects the topography and landscape of its surrounding parklands, was designed by Melbourne-based architect John Wardle. It stands as one of Melbourne’s civic experiences, leading to Melbourne Park’s Australian Open.

The slender, steel-tubed structure of the bridge is inspired by Speakers Corner’s historic landscape and Melbourne Park’s outdoor tennis courts. The undercroft of the bridge flows with the slope of the existing topography, embedding the structure within its undulating surroundings. Below the bridge deck, steel circular sections embody a voluminous belly, and partially draw a veil over the structure.

In 2017, the AIA Victorian Chapter awarded John Wardle a Melbourne Prize for his work on Tanderrum Bridge. The structure also received the Honor Award for Urban Design in the 2019 American Institue of Architects New York awards.

About John Wardle

John Wardle is a renowned Melbourne-based architect who earned his degree in Architecture from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In 1986, Wardle opened his architectural firm, John Wardle Architects (JWA). Over time, the practice has graduated from designing small domestic houses to large commercial spaces, university buildings and museums.

In 2001, Wardle earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from RMIT University, and held a position as Adjunct Professor at the School of Art, Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia.

Notable award-winning projects spearheaded by Wardle include the RMIT Printing Facility at Brunswick Campus in Melbourne, the Jane Foss Russell Building at the University of Sydney, the Queensland Brain Institute and the Shearer’s Quarters in Bruny Island, Tasmania.

In 2002 and 2006, the Australian Institute of Architects awarded JWA with the Sir Zelman Cowan Award for its outstanding architecture projects within Australia. Other awards include the Victorian Architecture Medal and the Residential Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award.

Images by Ina Parr for WE-EF