14 July 2011
a head being raised above the parapet, although it proved controversial, with one Polish engineer boldly stating his view that the engineer's job was to help realise the architect's vision, a suggestion which didn't even meet with the approval of many of the architects present. The Poles are clearly treating the Krakow bridge as a serious proposal, with the magazine Mosty ("Bridges") devoting six pages of a recent issue to an explanation of the engineering plans, including various technical and construction sequence diagrams (these make clear, incidentally, that it is a twin-cantilever bridge, not an arch).
Jan Biliszczuk and Wojciech Barcik's keynote presented Footbridges in Poland - the history and present state. This made for interesting viewing following on from open criticism of the Krakow bridge (as well as another landmark footbridge Krakow, already completed). Large parts of the presentation suggested that Poland has yet to catch up with the aesthetic sensibilities that most contemporary footbridge designers aspire to.
90m span glulam timber cable-stayed design which is both technically adept and charming (pictured below). [Incidentally, following that last link leads to a collection of the papers from Footbridge 2008, and many other conference proceedings in rather blatant breach of copyright].
The next Footbridge conference will be in 2014, and it will have a tough job living up to the hospitality, organisation, and delightful setting which Wrocław provided.