Students design and build new bridge at Botanical Garden

Until recently, if you wanted to cross Strawberry Creek in the UC Botanical Garden, you needed to hop from stone to stone. Now, thanks to UC Berkeley students in René Davids’ architecture course, in the College of Environmental Design, there’s a bridge that allows walkers to cross safely — especially during times of heavy water flow — and will protect the creek bed from damage from pedestrian traffic.

Bridge at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

The new bridge allows people to cross the creek safely and protects the creek bed from damage caused by pedestrian traffic.

The new bridge is made of locally harvested western red cedar and walnut, two types of wood that will weather naturally and prevent contamination by pollutants. The structure uses interlocking joints and dowels for stability with minimal screws. The design was conceived using parametric technology, which allows students to quickly create variations to test different proposals.

A grant from UC Berkeley’s Peder Sather Center supported the project, along with additional funding from the Botanical Garden, the architecture department and the campus Committee on Research.

The Botanical Garden spans 34 acres and features a collection of over 13,000 plants from around the world, including many rare and endangered species. To learn more about the project, visit the College of Environmental Design’s website, where photos and a video of the design and construction process are available.