With the purpose of conferring the city of Porto, Portugal a new global identity, architects Pedro Bandeira and Pedro Nuno Ramalho have propositioned for the relocation of the Maria Pia Bridge from its original location on the River Douro to the city center. Plans indicate that the bridge’s framework could be easily dismantled and, though it may seem absurd, the proposal comes with a clever solution. Also called Ponte Dona Maria, the railway bridge was built in 1877 by Gustave Eiffel—the same designer of the Eiffel Tower—but has not realized its original purpose since the early 1990s. Constructed entirely of wrought iron, its double-hinged crescent arch once supported the Lisbon-bound train for 1,158 feet at a height of 200 feet across the River Douro. When built, it was the world’s longest single-arch span. The architects sense that the railway bridge has “lost its scale and dignity; it is hidden and forgotten.” By repositioning it in the center of Porto, the bridge would redeem its visibility and gain significance as a work of art. Remarkably, the undertaking could be easily implemented, with a budget of less than 10 million euros, by disassembling and reassembling the surprisingly light structure within five months. While Bandeira and Ramalho's railway bridge relocation concept may be on track to “bring a new monumentality to the city, the bridge would be a monument of the deindustrialisation, where the materiality of the nineteenth century gives place to the contemporary immateriality,” their proposal failed to win over the Portuguese Council of Architects, whose competition sought schemes for urban regeneration. Nevertheless, the duo contends the move could serve as a spark for urban renewal.
Posts tagged with "Bridges":
The Swedish Transport Administration launched a conceptual design competition in 2011 for a new bridge in Skuru, Sweden. The competition received great national and international response, including one fanciful proposal by Danish firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The competition brief stated that the new bridge should adhere to high aesthetic standards and coincide with the existing bridge and the surrounding valuable cultural and natural landscape. Ingels deploys his characteristic hedonistic sustainability to bring nature onto the bridge itself. While the design only a concept, BIG has presented an innovative structure with the aim to create a symbiotic relationship between infrastructure and nature. The bridge consists of three main elements: a lower level arc-shaped bridge, a linear road bridge above this, and ultra-slim columns which connect the two. The arched bridge is a visual allusion to a hill between both sides of the strait and also responds to the arch of the existing bridge in profile. This space serves as a green pedestrian walkway filled with vegetation and creates an uninterrupted flow of parkland from one shore bank to the other. According to BIG, "Investments in infrastructure are all too often at the expense of the environment—an untouched natural landscape becomes tainted by a highway intersection...Skuru Parkbridge represents a new form of social infrastructure—which is not only aesthetic and environmentally well-integrated with the existing bridge and the natural landscape—but is also socially activating by creating a place and park for the people who live and work on both sides of the strait." All images courtesy BIG.
Proving the beauty and sustainable capability of steel construction, the winning projects of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 2012-2013 Steel Design Student Competition have been announced. The competition, launched last spring, called for comprehensive and environmentally thoughtful steel designs in two categories. The first, Building to Bridge, sought a plan for a long-span pedestrian bridge whose location would be enriched by the connection it created. And the second, Open, allowed for full flexibility in student design ideas of steel construction. The ACSA chose winners whose projects represented “creative and innovative use of structural steel in the design solution, successful response of the design to its surrounding context, and successful response to basic architectural concepts.” Building to Bridge Category, First Place: Stream_Line Stream_Line by Christopher Garrow, Heather Martin, and Kaitlin Shenk of Philadelphia University designs a pedestrian walkway connecting the north and south ends of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Building off existing abandoned Reading Viaduct railroad tracks, Stream_Line provides an exterior green pathway and an interior pathway for protection from the elements, an exhibition space, a café, and a gift shop. Similar to the High Line in New York City, the bridge is meant for congregation. Situated over Interstate 676, its transparent façade lights up at night “to provide an after hour presence.” The overall project uses sensible materials, like recyclable wood, in addition to its steel construction and plans the bridge's multiple levels for optimized solar shade. Renderings Courtesy ACSA. Open Category, Winner: Injection Trevor Larsen and Ben Pennell of California Polytechnic State University have reimagined a performance arts center in their winning project, Injection. A steel cube sliced horizontally and vertically to create two voids, then stacked and heavily trussed, is a design that aims to insert “randomness, improvisation, and intimacy into the architecture of musical performance.” The entire building contains three theater spaces, one partially sunken below ground and two “floating” within the steel truss structure. The façade on each side of the center is of a different opacity, corresponding to its solar exposure. The vertical plane of the cube that receives the most light is constructed of photovoltaic cells and assorted ventilation spaces. Renderings Courtesy ACSA. Open Category, Winner: Inverted Landscapes Responsibility for the environmental health of the Tijuana River Watershed is shared the two countries that border it: the United States and Mexico. Inverted Landscape, created by Byron Marroquin and Sal Vargas of Woodbury University, designs an international forum space as a physical steel bridge floating over the water itself. Creating large steel landmasses that parallel the landscape in an inverted view, the project provides a Bi-National Auditorium for debate and collaboration on policies regarding the shared body of water. The jury commended Inverted Landscape’s thoughtfulness on the properties of steel; the design could not be constructed in any other material. Renderings Courtesy ACSA.
Heatherwick Studio has envisioned a refreshing way for Londoners to safely commute from the North to the South side of the city that doesn’t involve the hassle of waiting for a bus, squeezing onto the overcrowded "Tube," or sitting in mind-numbing traffic. The firm, which has been working closely with actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley to develop the design, proposed a pedestrian garden bridge that will extend across the River Thames, providing Londoners with a safe, green river crossing. The idea first blossomed in response to the Transport for London’s call for submissions for the design of a pedestrian link that would span the river. They selected Heatherwick Studio’s vibrant design, which features a lush garden walkway supported by two fluted piers that will be filled with flourishing wild flowers and thrive with abundant plant life. According to Design Boom, Lumley enthusiastically commented on the new plans for the walkway by saying, “This garden will be sensational in every way: a place with no noise or traffic where the only sounds will be birdsong and bees buzzing and the wind in the trees, and below the steady rush of water. It will be the slowest way to cross the river, as people will dawdle and lean on parapets and stare at the great cityscapes all around; but it will also be a safe and swift way for the weary commuter to make his way back over the Thames.” This lively new pedestrian river crossing, which is estimated to cost about $95 million, is to be built between the already-existing Blackfriars and Waterloo bridges, and would be the first bridge to be built over the River Thames since the Millenium Bridge in 2000. With green space covering almost 40 percent of the city, London is one of the greenest cities in the world. This new garden walkway will provide London with yet another, always welcome, peaceful green public space that is sure to attract visitors and locals looking to breathe in some fresh air and appreciate the pleasant riverside views.
For the first time in half a century, residents of Cincinnati and Covington, Ky. can traverse the Ohio River on foot via Roebling Bridge, thanks to a pedestrian connector reopened June 4. The Roebling Bridge Pedestrian Connector ties Cincinnati’s central riverfront, the site of some major mixed-use development of late, to the city of Covington. The $430,000 project is part of The Banks’ public infrastructure improvement program. Lane closures will accompany renovations on the north end of the bridge, where a new roundabout and traffic signal will take a few months to complete. Pedestrians, however, can walk on through. Let's just hope a certain New York City mayoral candidate doesn't confuse the Roebling Bridge with its big brother in Brooklyn and snap a photo for his website!
Los Angeles’ impressive new bridges have gotten a lot of press lately, including HNTB’s epic 6th Street Viaduct and Andrew Leicester’s unusual so-called basket bridge for the Metro Pasadena Gold Line extension. But one crossing is being worked on in total secrecy: a span over the 101 Freeway at Los Angeles Street, connecting the Civic Center and the Pueblo de Los Angeles. Artists Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess, who run the city’s Materials and Applications gallery in Silver Lake, are designing the bridge. No renderings have been unveiled, and it’s all very top secret within the city, which is why eavesdrop is on the case. And while Thom Mayne (101 pedestrian bridge) and Asymptote (Steel Cloud) have both failed to make similar ideas happen, this looks like it’s actually moving. Stay tuned.
Work took place in March to replace a portion of Chicago's Wells Street bridge—“the engineering equivalent of a heart transplant,” in the words of the Tribune’s Cynthia Dizikes. Work crews replaced a portion of the 91-year old double-decker bascule bridge during just two nine-day periods (a similar replacement in 1996 took almost a year). Inconvenience or not, seeing a 500,000-pound hunk of metal floating into downtown Chicago atop a barge makes one feel like a witness to latter-day Carl Sandburg paeans: “Here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities.”
HNTB's Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge connecting the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with Brooklyn Bridge Park opened to the public last Thursday. The $4.9 million bridge was built using "trail bridge technology" with galvanized steel cables and cylindrical black locust timbers, providing an efficient and lightweight structure that, as a sign at the entrance to the bridge warns, quite literally puts a bounce in visitors' steps. "The bridge is very light weight. You will feel yourself walking across the bridge," HNTB's Chief Engineer Ted Zoli said at a construction tour in December. On AN's visit to the bridge Friday morning, traversing the spans did in fact provide a bouncy effect. The 400-foot-long Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge zig-zags through Brooklyn Bridge Park, moving through what will one day be a mixed-use development on the park's edge designed by Rogers Marvel Architects and providing a crucial connection to the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood which sits largely cut off from the waterfront by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Concrete piers support the main bridge spans across Furman Street and through the park, which gently decline from a height of 50 feet to the waterfront park. LED lights are incorporated into the handrails that will wash the pathway with light in the evening.
From the top of San Diego's soaring 200-foot-tall Coronado Bay Bridge, architect Lew Dominy says you can see Mexico, but outside of special events when the bridge is closed to automobile traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists who might stop to admire the view are prohibited. Dominy, principal at San Diego-based domusstudio architecture, has a plan to build a tube through the distinctive archways of the Coronado's support piers that would bring multi-modal access to the bridge. Dominy hatched the concept three decades ago while riding his bike across the bridge during a special event. "When you're 200 feet in the air looking at the city, it's just an unbelievable view," Dominy said. At the time he was interning for the the Coronado Bay Bridge's designer Bob Mosher, and developed an interest in the 11,179-foot-long span connecting the cities of San Diego and Coronado. Dominy shelved the proposal, but recently began promoting the concept anew. Over the past six months, he has been meeting with officials from the US Navy, the Cities of San Diego and Coronado, the bridge's owner CalTrans, and others to promote the idea and determine if the project is feasible. Dominy said the response so far has been positive. "With all the agencies and jurisdictions involved, this will take some time to become real," Dominy said in an email. "But the momentum is building, and we have gotten very positive responses everywhere we've been with the project. We think it could be an iconic draw for cyclists and runners and visitors to San Diego." The plan, estimated to cost around $50 million, calls for a steel cylinder to be built inside the 12-foot-diameter pier arches, with structural attachments to the bridge's existing steel box girders. After speaking with engineers who retrofitted the bridge for earthquakes a decade ago, Dominy said "it appears from initial analysis that no extra support is needed" for the new bike tube. The bridge is built with a 4.7 percent grade, meaning the ascent and descent over the two mile length of the bridge fit within existing ADA regulations. Dominy said the tube structure would be open but include railings and other protections to keep people from falling or jumping. He said the design could also include viewing areas at various points with glass floors to heighten the drama of the view. To move the project forward, Dominy hopes to raise funding for a feasibility study, that among other things, will help determine if adding the bike and pedestrian tube will impact clearances of large ships that move underneath the bridge.
It’s been nearly a year since the Santiago Calatrava-designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge opened in Dallas. Part of an overarching plan to redevelop the banks of the Trinity River, the cable-stayed bridge’s 400-foot-tall central arch pylon has given the Big-D a much-needed civic icon in the otherwise flat and uninhabited swath that the watercourse cuts through the urban fabric. These photos, taken by budding young photographer Halle Darling-Menking, convey something of the motion and excitement motorists experience while traversing the span. The lines of the cables seem to warp and flex, the arch itself to deflect and lean. Fans of the crossing now have something more to cheer about. In January, the Dallas City Council approved funding for a second Calatrava-designed bridge across the Trinity, this one expected to cost $115 million. The second bridge, to be known as the Margaret McDermott Bridge, will replace the current Interstate 30 span. It features two arches running parallel to the span supporting pedestrian and bike paths. Construction will begin this spring and completion is expected by May 2017.
It's been a mild winter so far in New York, and with the first onset of below-freezing temperatures, city folk are donning their heavy jackets and gloves. And while the winds whipping around the glass and steel towers of Manhattan might feel as if it's as cold as it's ever going to be, consider a century ago when temperatures were low enough to freeze the East River from the banks of Brooklyn to the Manhattan waterfront, still two different cities at the time, providing thrill-seeking pedestrians with an instant new crossing years before the Brooklyn Bridge was built. The above view was engraved in 1871 and titled, "Crossing the East River on the Ice Bridge," depicting dozens of New Yorkers walking across what would normally have been a busy maritime thoroughfare. While such a natural feat seams unlikely today, Gothamist has collected clippings to show that the phenomenon was known to occur around once a decade on the East River during the 19th century and there have been reports of similar frozen-river bridges along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers as well. For instance, in 1851, an estimated 15,000 pedestrians, horses, and sleighs crossed the frozen river.
If you have ever seen the film To Live and Die in L.A. then you know the Gerald Desmond Bridge. It has a starring role in the opening sequence, when Treasury agent Richard Chance (played by William Peterson) bungee jumps off of it. You probably haven't bungeed off it yourself, but If you've ever driven across it, you might get why it needs replacing. The original bridge, according to the project website, "is nearing the end of its intended lifespan." In fact, the old bridge, while considered safe, is a little scary. Netting has been suspended beneath it to catch pieces of falling concrete. Additionally, its approaches are too steep, it's too narrow, and perhaps most importantly, the newest container ships can't fit under it. That bridge that will soon be a thing of the past. On Tuesday, January 8, Caltrans, Metro, the Port of Long Beach, and the US Department of Transportation broke ground on the $1 billion joint project to build the state-of-the-art replacement bridge for what is considered one of the nation's most critical transport hubs. The projected five-year construction period is also expected to generate significant economic activity in the region, including thousands of project-related jobs. The new cable-stayed bridge will feature 500-foot-tall towers and an observation deck 200 feet above the water. The design also incorporates bike lanes and pedestrian walkways. The joint venture includes Shimmick Construction Company, FCC Construction S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., with engineering by Arup North America and Biggs Cardosa Associates.