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Choose your favorite building: Exceptional Bridge

Choose your favorite building: Exceptional Bridge

This week’s theme (on 28th of July 2021) is Exceptional Bridges. In the competition, this time not two but three buildings. Bridges designed by famous and prestigious Architects: Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava and Zaha Hadid. And all, in different parts of the world: Spain, France and Taiwan.

1. Viaduc de Millau by Norman Foster

the Millau viaduct bridge building
Source photo: Eiffage

The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Tarn Valley, in the Aveyron department in France. The construction of this incredible bridge only took 3 years, from December 2001 to December 2004. For this project, thousands of workers participated in the creation of the bridge.

The bridge was conceived by Engineer Michel Virlogeux and designed by Architect Sir Norman Foster, and realized by Groupe Eiffage, specialist in civil engineering and steel construction. As also mentioned on Foster + Partners’ website, bridges are often considered to belong to the realm of the engineer rather than that of the architectNorman Foster has proven the capacity of an Architect to design in close collaboration with Structural Engineers. And thus, the capacity to play an integral role in the design of bridges.

Documentation about the bridge:
– For French speakers, the steps of the construction: https://www.leviaducdemillau.com/fr/comprendre/les-6-etapes-hors-du-commun-de-la-construction-du-viaduc
– Foster & Partners’ project page: https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/millau-viaduct/

2. Puente del Alamillo by Santiago Calatrava

the Alamillo bridge building
Source photo: By Andrew Dunn – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=786429

The Alamillo Bridge is a structure in Seville, Andalucía, Spain, which spans the Canal de Alfonso XIII, allowing access to La Cartuja. The bridge consists of a single straight steel-shell tower, infilled reinforced concrete and inclined backward, counterbalancing a 200m span with 13 pairs of cable. The static concept of the bridge can be traced back to the 1986 sculpture of Spanish Architect and Structural Engineer, Santiago Calatrava, entitled Running Torso.

About its history: the bridge was built as part of the infrastructure improvements of the Expo 92 World Fair. The construction was designed by Santiago Calatrava, then started in 1989 and was completed in 1992. In the same year, Calatrava received the CEOE Foundation ‘VI Dragados y Construcciones Prize’ award for the Alamillo Bridge

Documentation about the bridge:
– Wikipedia page in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamillo_Bridge
– Santiago Calatrava’s project page: https://calatrava.com/projects/alamillo-bridge-cartuja-viaduct-seville.html

3. Danjiang Bridge by Zaha Hadid

The Danjiang Bridge is an under-construction road and light rail bridge spanning the mouth of the Tamsui River, which will link Bali and Tamsui in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The construction started in October 2014 and is estimated to end in September 2024. The bridge was commissioned by the Directorate General of Highways and was designed to provide a connection to the national highway system and to ease congestion on the Guandu Bridge that is situated further upriver.

The bridge was designed by Architect Zaha Hadid, who sadly passed away on the 31, March 2016. The Danjiang Bridge is one of her incomplete projects, but is still supported by her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, in collaboration with Sinotech Engineering Consultants and 

Leonhardt Andra und Partner Beratende Ingenieure, who have won an international competition to design the Danjiang Bridge.

Documentation about the building:
– Wikipedia page in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danjiang_Bridge
– Article about the international competition: https://architectureau.com/articles/zaha-hadid-world-first-bridge-design-wins-competition/?mc_cid=5900ec4259&mc_eid=8c11c6ad66
– Zaha Hadid Architects’ project page: https://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/danjiang-bridge/

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