Bridges in the modern world are more than just a functional structure that allows two opposite sides to be connected. Ferries have long turned into architectural masterpieces that have become the hallmarks of the places where they are located. Today we want to talk about 8 of the most extraordinary bridges that vividly represent modern construction trends, surprising with their forms and functionality.
1. Architectural complex "Three Graces" in Dubai (UAE)
In confirmation that modern ferries are no longer just functional structures, we present the fantastic multifunctional architectural complex The Three Graces in Dubai. This is an architectural group, consisting of three towers, personifying "Joy", "Beauty" and "Charm" and connected by a fantastic 600 m long pedestrian bridge. The neo-futuristic miracle was developed by specialists from the Dutch studio NOX. The Three Graces complex serves as a gateway to the Khor Dubai harbor.
The unusual form and shell of the architectural ensemble, which has become an odious symbol of harmony and unity, is inspired by the enchanting sea creature called Radiolaria ("radiolaria"). To achieve maximum resemblance to the bizarre openwork forms of the simplest inhabitants of the sea, a single load-bearing sheathing was created from special concrete with glass vertical posts inside.
2. Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge in Brasilia (Brazil)
The capital of Brazil has a bridge named after its president, Jusselino Kubitschek de Oliveira. The original crossing over Lake Paranoa not only connected the city center with the eastern coast, it became a decoration of the capital, turning into a symbol of the country's unity and prosperity. This 1.2 km long cable-stayed bridge was designed by Brazilian architect Alexander Chan in collaboration with civil engineer Mario Vila Verde.
Huge concrete arches, diagonally crossing the canvas of the bridge, form a stunning reflection both on a moonlit night and in sunny weather during calm periods. Even if the weather isn't right, special lighting helps to create a special soothing aura that emphasizes the harmony between aesthetics and the environment.
3. Viaduct Millau connecting France and Spain
The stunningly beautiful bridge was built to facilitate transport links between France and Spain. The Millau Viaduct has transcended functionality and original utilitarian purpose and is considered one of the most inspiring bridges ever built and one of the greatest achievements in engineering. The bridge received the Outstanding Construction award, which is the highest recognition in the bridge building industry.
Interesting fact from Novate.ru: Viaduct Millau is the tallest bridge in the world. Its tallest tower is located above the ground at 342 m, and this is with the length of the crossing itself is almost 2 km.
4. The transforming bridge Gateshead Millennium, connecting the cities of Gateshead and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK)
A one-of-a-kind footbridge has emerged in the UK over the River Tyne to connect the cities of Gateshead and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that during the movement of large ships, it is capable of transforming, forming an arch 25 m high, which is enough for the passage of large ships. Architect Wilkinson Eyre and bridge engineers from Gifford have designed the incredible lifting structure with beautiful, sophisticated shapes.
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge was made of two steel arches, one of which rises 50 m above the water and is a support, and the other is installed horizontally. It is a fairly popular and busy pedestrian crossing and also a bike path. Openwork arches have common pivot points, which begin to rotate on their axis by 40 degrees when a large vessel needs to pass. At this moment, the upper arch is lowered, but the bridge canvas is raised, which makes it possible for the floating craft to pass unimpeded. It is a truly impressive sight, gathering crowds of tourists who are constantly watching the moment of the turning of the unique structure.
5. Henderson Waves pedestrian bridge in Singapore
Specialists from RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd and Ijp Corporation have created a pedestrian bridge connecting three city parks at once. The bridge, dubbed Henderson Waves, is based on the concept of a three-dimensional surface that forms wavy, curved ribs that alternately rise above and below the bridge.
Thanks to a non-standard engineering solution inside the pedestrian bridge, popularly called a snake, it turned out to organize on one side niches with benches and awnings, and on the other - a wide path with balustrades for relaxation, unforgettable walks both on foot and on bicycles, roller skates, scooters.
6. Transoceanic Hangzhou Bay Bridge (China)
At the moment, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, if not the longest bridge in the world, still holds the palm among engineering structures that have the status of the longest transoceanic crossing. It took 10 long years to design and another 5 to build an ultramodern miracle. All work was carried out in the most difficult conditions, because the bridge crosses several water currents at once and must withstand the pressure of huge waves that arise when the Qiantang River flows into the East China Sea, as well as hurricane winds. And if we add to these problems the fact that the region belongs to a zone of high seismic hazard, then the creators can really be proud and admire the project endlessly.
Thanks to the saving 36-kilometer ferry, connecting the city of Jiaxin in the north of China and the city of Ningbo in the south of the country, the travel time, and most importantly, the delivery of goods was reduced by 2 times, which had a beneficial effect on economic indicators. Plus, the bridge has become a place of attraction for tourists, because it is not only an engineering miracle, its architectural features are also impressive.
7. Futuristic Changsha Lucky Knot pedestrian bridge in Changsha (China)
An intricate pedestrian bridge in the Chinese metropolis of Changsha fits perfectly into the list of extraordinary bridges that archbureau NEXT is creating. The 185 m long Changsha Lucky Knot Bridge is a key project in the development of public space in one of the greenest areas of the city. It was designed with recreational, environmental and tourism activities in mind. Unusual in all respects, the crossing connects several levels at different heights at once - the banks of the river, the road, the park located above and several city blocks. Its height offers stunning views of the river, neighboring Lake Macy, the surrounding mountain range and Changsha city.
The bridge, both literally and figuratively, ties all these routes together, because its shape was inspired by the principle of creating the Mobius strip, as well as the traditional Chinese art of weaving knots. As you know, since ancient times, in folk art, the knot symbolizes good luck and prosperity. According to the authors of the project and, as shown by universal recognition, “Changsha Lucky Knot is more than a bridge and a link between two banks of the river. Its success lies in the unification of cultures, as well as in the fusion of history, technology, art, innovation, architecture and spectacle."
8. Amsterdam Footbridge-Cafe concept by architect Laurent Sain Val
Architect Laurent Saint Val and his team designed an original pedestrian bridge-cafe as part of a design competition to collect interesting ideas for a bridge in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The concept of the Amsterdam Footbridge-Cafe, combined with the catering and recreation area, uses wood and steel, and its shape can change depending on the weather. The adjustable roof and façade can optimize daylight or protect the interior from inclement weather. The bridge itself is a multifunctional urban space, including a cafe, restaurant, shops, observation decks and a bicycle parking.
Bridges are not the only architectural masterpieces and engineering marvels. The construction of skyscrapers that "scratch" the sky is no less difficult and time-consuming task, on which both the transformation of city quarters and the safety of people depend. We offer to take a look for particularly impressive projects in 2020, which have become the pinnacle of aesthetics and cutting edge innovation.