10 February 2009

Bridges news roundup

Lots of big posts in preparation, so just time for a short interlude with some recent (and some slightly stale) bridge news:

Auditor eyes 'iconic' bridge
Calgary footbridge procurement to be scrutinised

Business bosses still back bridge
Iconic River Wear crossing retains support

Unusual bridges and bridge-building games
Blogger spots bridges - runs risk of becoming bridge nerd

Worlds most dangerous bridges
Serviceability limit state applied differently around the world

Michael Jantzen is an architectural artist who seems to specialise in unbuilt (and often unbuildable) follies. This one is a footbridge in the form of a walkthrough wind turbine, pictured below. An earlier proposal is even less likely to ever be built ...


Anonymous said...

Dear Happy Pontist

I enjoy your site. It keeps me up to date with whats going on around the world.

Previously I worked for Mr Calatrava in Zurich as a bridge engineer. I now have my own consultancy. Therefore I am cautious about joining the debate surrounding Mr Calatrava because I respect him even if I'm more aware than most of his processes.

Calatrava bridges are expensive, for reasons that seem to becoming more and more obvious as the "Calatrava" debate widens. Your website is a great window into this debate.

Calatrava - esque bridges need not be as expensive with reasonable care and consideration of the concept and details - this is nothing new.

Currently I am trying to prove this with one of my bridge designs. I say Calatrava - esque because Mr Calatrava taught me what his parameters are for iconic bridges, not because it is a cheap imitation of his previous works. It incorporates a number of features that to the best of my knowledge Santiago has not tried. I will keep you posted on this particular bridge when detail design is complete, and after it is peer reviewed.

Best regards

The Happy Pontist said...

As I hope is obvious, I have both positive and negative views on Calatrava's bridges (I try not to have views on the designer himself, as I've never met him, but inevitable you assume something about a person from what you see in their work).

In my view, he has designed several excellent bridges, and several which are terrible. I think the fact that he remains outside the mainstream of bridge design is fundamentally a good thing: we need more visionaries, eccentrics, and mavericks, not less. If we had more, perhaps he would not dominate debates on bridge design so frequently.

I agree it's quite possible to design a Calatravaesque bridge where sufficient concern is given to both overall stability, and ease of fabrication, to keep costs down to what most would consider reasonable.

I'm sure I'll be interested in your bridge design - you, and anyone else, can email me at happypontist at gmail dot com if you have a suggestion for something to cover here.