Saturday, 23 January 2021

The Dinosaur Bridge - Part 2 - Installation

Previously on DINO BRIDGE... 


It's almost a year since Cake Industries in Sydenham manufactured the skeletal structure designed by Tonkin Liu Architects . It was then sent off on the back of a lorry to the other end of the country to be dipped in a galvanising bath. This coincided with the first wave of the pandemic, so while it had been the plan to have it installed in the lake at Crystal Palace Park in spring or summer 2020, things instead ground to a bit of a halt. Works on site finally got under way in the autumn, with a temporary platform constructed across the lake to enable a metal caisson to be formed within which piles would be driven into the ground beneath. 

The site

The work platform

Caisson formed on lake bed

Preparing for piling

8th January 2021, the bridge arrives on site

The platform is dismantled...

and the caisson removed, revealing the structure which will carry the bridge.

The turning mechanism is fitted to the underside of the bridge.

The bridge is temporarily mounted on wheels and stored behind the site fence until installation day.

13th January 2021, the big day when the bridge is lifted into place.

The team involved in designing and manufacturing the bridge assemble for the big lift.

Up, up, and away!

The moment it was fixed, a round of applause rippled out across the lake.

A few days later I returned to get shots of the bridge in its setting.

And again with sunshine!

Owing to current uncertainty, no date is yet scheduled for a grand opening of the bridge, but I'm sure the wait will be worthwhile. Congratulations to all those involved in it's realisation.

Architects: Tonkin Liu

Engineers: Arup Group

Manufacturers: Cake Industries

And not least Ellinor Michel of the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, without whose drive and determination this would have been unlikely to happen.


  1. What a beautiful bridge! - a fantastic piece of skilful design and manafacture. Look forward to the official opening