We enjoy exploring the design potential of exposed structural elements, an inherent feature within the design of a bridge. Illustrated are a couple of bridge competitions we have entered over the years in collaboration with structural engineer firms.
The Sheffield Parkway Bridge competition, explores how a tensegrity structure works as a sustainable design for spanning a large distance by using a minimum amount of material. The network of steel rods and cables provides the structure to support a lightweight deck. The deck and the tensegrity arches would be prefabricated and delivered in sections to be quickly erected on site. The design at once creates an inherently dynamic and exciting structure that makes both a positive aesthetic and environmental statement.
The River Douglas Bridge Competition, the bridge is composed of two main elements, the “railway sleeper deck” and the “twinned masts”. The bridge acts structurally in 2 different ways, with the back spans being cable stay supported decks, whilst the middle section is a truss formed using the handrails. The reclaimed railway sleepers are tensioned together by cables that run through them to form a flat “cantenary” structure. Again we were keen to explore how a sustainable design could be achieved, in this case through the use of recycled / renewable building materials.