It’s a project out of every architect’s childhood fantasy: a 100 foot (31 meter) long suspension bridge, constructed completely out of LEGO.
Envisioned as part of the ongoing BridgeEngineering exhibition at London’s Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), the massive bridge utilized over 250,000 individual LEGO bricks in shattering the World Record for the longest LEGO suspension bridge. Stretching further than the length of three London City Buses end-to-end, the bridge weighs in at over 1,600 lbs (75 kg).
Architecture inherently appears to be at odds with our mobile world – while one is static, the other is in constant motion. That said, architecture has had, and continues to have, a significant role in facilitating the rapid growth and evolution of transportation: cars require bridges, ships require docks, and airplanes require airports.
In creating structures to support our transit infrastructure, architects and engineers have sought more than functionality alone. The architecture of motion creates monuments – to governmental power, human achievement, or the very spirit of movement itself. AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. Here we've assembled seven projects which stand as enduring symbols of a civilization perpetually on the move.
Penda has designed a prestressed double-helix bridge spanning China’s Gui River that will become an integral part of the infrastructure system for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The San Shan Bridge, which translates to 3 Mountains Bridge, draws inspiration from the interlacing of five rings in the Olympic Symbol to create a form evocative of the area’s mountainous landscape.
Situated on the peak of Bergisel Mountain above the picturesque alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel Ski Jump represents the contemporary incarnation of a historic landmark. Designed by Zaha Hadid between 1999 and 2002, the Ski Jump is a study in formal expression: its sweeping lines and minimalist aesthetic create a sense of graceful, high-speed motion, reflecting the dynamic sensation of a ski jump in a monumental structure that stands above the historic center of Innsbruck and the mountain slopes around.
Santiago Calatrava has been commissioned to design a trio of bridges in the Chinese city of Huashan, east of Wuhan. The three steelbridges - Xihu, Xianbi and Lincong - will span 1.5 kilometers of the city's new Yangtze River canal, providing access to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
“Architecture is one of the art forms best able to improve and revitalize cities both artistically and functionally,” said Calatrava. “The Huashan project is a clear example of how an urban element, key to the successful growth of the city, can at the same time improve the quality of life for its citizens, thanks to an integration of all three bridges and the creation of boulevards on the banks of the canal.”
Despite being separated by only a few miles, Manhattan and Jersey City seem much further apart; the Hudson River forces commuters to take long, roundabout routes or rely on the over-worked PATH system. Inspired by a need for connectivity between the two cities, Kevin Shane began conceptualizing a new pedestrian bridge, dubbed Liberty Bridge, which would connect Jersey City to Battery Park. Read more about this conceptual proposal after the break.
Santiago Calatrava has topped out on his second Dallas bridge - the Margaret McDermott Bridge - two years after completing the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The steel arch, reaching a height of 275 feet, is the first of two that will support the 1311-foot-long bridge that is intended to provide access to pedestrians, bicyclists and cars over the Trinity River. The $113 million bridge is part of the massive $798 million Dallas Horseshoe Project that aims to alleviate traffic and enhance accessibility downtown. It is scheduled to complete by the summer of 2017.
China will soon finish construction on what will be the world’s tallest and longest glass pedestrian bridge, floating 300 meters above a canyon in the Zhangjiajie National Park. Designed by Israeli architect, Haim Dotan, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon GlassBridge will be 380 meters long, six meters wide and feature a transparent glass floor.
“The Zhangjiajie GlassBridge was designed to be invisible as possible--a white bridge disappearing into the clouds,” said Dotan.
Did you know that the fictional bridges on the Euro banknotes were actually made a reality in the Netherlands? In Tom Scott’s latest “Things You Might Not Know” video, he tells the story of how the seven bridges came to be constructed in the town of Spijkenisse.
The winners of the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition were announced today at the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) National Convention. The urban design challenge sought proposals for creative interventions at two existing freeway overpasses in the city’s Midtown and Downtown districts, with a referential budget of $3 million per bridge. The winners were selected from five finalists by a panel of industry experts.
See the two winning proposals as well as the winners of the People’s Choice Award after the break.
The world’s longest glass skywalk has been inaugurated in China, jutting off the edge of a 718-meter tall cliff in the Longgang National Geological Park in Chongqing, reports CCTV. Aptly named Yuanduan, which means “at the end of the clouds,” the horseshoe-shaped walkway offers visitors stunning (and a bit terrifying) views of the surrounding mountains and canyon below. Extending for more than 26 meters off the cliff’s edge, the bridge is five meters longer than the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Only 30 tourists will be allowed on the bridge at a time. View a gallery of photos at The Daily Mail.
New images of Thomas Heatherwick's recently approved Garden Bridge depicts how it will look once built in 2018. With 270 trees, 2,000 shrubs, hedging plants and climbers, over 22,000 perennials, ferns and grasses and 64,000 bulbs planted on the bridge, the lush river crossing will take pedestrians through London's horticultural history, "from wild marshland to cultivated gardens," as the Garden Bridge Trust reports. Five distinct landscaped areas, created by landscape designer Dan Pearson, will span the bridge's 6000 square-meters of open space and represent the capital city's plant cultivation from centuries past.
Five finalists have emerged in the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition. The urban design challenge, which was launched earlier this year, sought creative ideas to enhance two existing freeway overpasses in the city's Midtown and Downtown districts. Now in the competition's final phase, the finalists have refined their ideas, taking in consideration a budget of up to $3 million for each project. The proposals are now undergoing public review and you are invited to vote for your favorite design as part of the People’s Choice Award. Read on to review each proposal and find out how to vote.
A winner will be announced this Friday, May 15 at the AIA's 2015 National Convention.
Students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) will attempt to beat the world-record for the longest open span attained by an ice structure by constructing an ice bridge inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. Following a yearly tradition of exhibiting architecture made from ice, the bridge is anticipated to span an astounding 50 meters. If the team succeeds, they will shatter the school's previous record set in 2014 when students built an ice dome spanning 30 meters.
Read on after the break for more on the massive ice bridge.
The Hubei United Investment Group (HUIG) has commissioned Santiago Calatrava to design three major highway and pedestrian bridges in the AECOM-masterplanned city of Huashan, 12 miles east of downtown Wuhan. The bridges will be Calatrava's first project in China. They will span a new man-made canal that bisects Huashan's urban center and connects two lakes that feed the Yangtze River.
“It gives me great personal satisfaction and represents a grand challenge that I face with great enthusiasm to help develop this ambitious project that enables me to design my first bridges in the Far East," says Calatrava.
The City of Gothenburg has commissioned Erik Andersson Architects to design a new pedestrian bridge in the city's historic Haga district. The circular bridge, connecting streets Haga Kyrkogata and Arkitektgatan, will be made of carbon fiber, allowing for a narrow profile that seemingly floats over the water. It is envisioned that the landscape the crosses inside the circular form can be used as an amphitheater for riverside performances.