Developer Argent has commissioned public artist Thomas Heatherwick to design what is thought to be the world's first all-glass bridge as the main entrance to its King's Cross Central scheme.

The 16 m long, 4.5 m wide bridge would be the principal pedestrian walkway onto the £2bn mixed-use scheme from King's Cross and St Pancras stations.

Heatherwick's bridge will be built from glass laminate sheets running vertically and at right angles to the direction of the bridge. The estimated 850 glass sheets in the bridge will held together by compression rather than adhesive. engineer SKM Anthony Hunts and Imperial College are currently testing mock-ups of the structure.

When installed, the bridge will cross a canal on the south side of the King's Cross Central site and will be supported by concrete plinths at either end.

The surface will be chipped by hand to increase its grip.

Roger Madelin, Argent chief executive, said: "It's a very exciting project. We met Thomas Heatherwick several years ago and asked him to work with us because he's a very talented chap."

We met Thomas Heatherwick several years ago and asked him to work with us because he’s a very talented chap

Roger Madelin, Argent

Heatherwick is best known for his B of the Bang public sculpture in Manchester. He has also previously worked with SKM Anthony Hunts on a rolling bridge at Paddington, west London.

Madelin is confident that the bridge will be proved safe and will be erected by 2010, towards the end of the £400m first phase of construction.

Argent has not yet decided whether the bridge will take bicycles, although there will be a second bridge over the canal for buses and taxis.