05 October 2009
Kurilpa Bridge opens
The AUS$63m Kurilpa footbridge in Brisbane, Australia, was officially opened yesterday. Designed by Arup and Cox Rayner, and built by Baulderstone Queensland with Beenleigh Steel Fabricators, its main span is 128m, and it's without doubt a challenging and unique structure, exploiting (while not strictly adhering to) Buckminster Fuller's principle of tensegrity.
The bridge incorporates solar panels which provide all the energy required for its programmable LED lighting system.
It has been described as resembling knitting needles, sailing boats and magpie deflectors, and has run into controversy when a report raised concerns over vehicle impact. But with the dust now settled and the bridge complete, the question is whether it's a success.
As ever, it's hard to tell from photos, but I haven't seen anything to contradict my previous view (see related post below) that it's irrational, exuberant, and spectacular, while making very little sense structurally. The covered walkway seems to detract from the overall appearance, and the tops of the masts seem inelegant and clumsy. Its landmark quality is undeniable, but it will be interesting to see how well it ages. I'd definitely like to visit it to experience it properly!