Unconventional Structural Forms in Pedestrian Bridge Design


Medium: conference paper
Language(s): en 
Conference: IABSE Symposium, Large Structures and Infrastructures for Environmentally Constrained and Urbanised Areas, Venice, 22-24 September 2010
Published in:
Page(s): 520-521

Trends in pedestrian bridge design are going to overreach the simple idea of connecting point A and point B. As growing communities have sought to define and differentiate themselves, footbridge design has become an aesthetically pleasant way for communities or neighborhoods to create a landmark. Such bridges are incorporating more thoughtful designs, complex engineering, and elegant materials as civic revisionists look to pedestrian bridges to make a statement. In this context technological advances have helped architects and engineers celebrate bridges' structural forms. Computer-aided techniques in particular allow designers to create complex shapes and to investigate new structural systems and schemes often through a computational morphogenesis process.

Starting from these considerations, the paper first presents a review and discussion of recent realizations in the field of pedestrian bridges, calling into evidence how design is more and more requiring a multidisciplinary approach, involving the integration of architectural and engineering disciplines. This discussion drives the presentation of some examples that are given in the last section of the paper. In particular, a few examples of unconventional structural forms potentially implementing some of the most challenging concepts previously indicated, and suitable for the realization of pedestrian bridges are presented and discussed.

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