Dynamic Bridge Functions As Elevated Art
In dense metropolitan areas, traveling from building to building often involves lengthy rides down elevators, up elevators, and across traffic-laden city streets and sidewalks. The organizers for the Building to Building Pedestrian Bridge International Challenge in Montreal sought to inspire designers to originate ideas which would ease congestion, decrease travel times, and diversify the use of structures. The winning concept came from the architects from the Barcelona-based firm sanzpont [arquitectura] with their DSSH (Dynamic ShapeShifting Helix) Bridge.
This organic concept features a unique dynamic motion and sustainable technology. A helix-shaped support system holds the transparent surface in place. Seeming to come alive with foot traffic, these supports and the flexible surface will move and shift due to the stresses of people walking across it, creating a fluid motion and natural aesthetic. The scaffolds and walkway also become illuminated by RGB LEDs that transform the bridge into an energy-efficient, moving lighting feature during the night which can be seen from around the city.
The designers also incorporated sustainable features that minimize the bridge’s environmental impact such as special photovoltaic solar cells and plants. Since the outside surface would move frequently throughout the day, sanzpont [arquitectura] used foldable cells that power the LEDs used for nighttime. The clear surface which the pedestrians actually walk on covers numerous plants that clean the interior air and provide fresh oxygen, suspending a garden hundreds of feet above the ground. A breathable membrane also increases airflow and circulation.
Creating responsive art high above the Montreal streets, sanzpont [arquitectura] certainly achieves their lofty concept.
Image credits: UrbanGlobalCities.blogspot.com, Architizer