Foryd Harbour Bridge – Moxon Architects
Bridge design could be considered the pinnacle of collaboration between architecture and engineering – it is harder to think of a structure that requires a higher degree of co-dependancy to succeed that them. From the point of view of an architect, bridges are structures that silently perform their action – we all know they are being physically stressed throughout their lives, but they do so discreetly, and this is thanks to the hard work of the engineer. This bridge design, by Moxon Architects expands on this idea that if an architect can design it, the engineer can probably make it work!
This design was an entrant into a competition, and its a shame that such an elegant design will never see the light of day. The unique way that the draw bridge action works would have been a delight to behold.
“Designed in conjunction with Flint and Neill and MG Bennett, this bridge is a response to the site conditions: it directly relates to the physical and human context by having a highly visible presence at the entrance to Foryd Harbour. The geometry of the bridge has been considered to ensure that the location of the bridge, and as importantly its opening sequence, is as visible as possible from the surrounding urban area. In this sense the bridge is consciously a landmark – and is intended to serve as marker for orientation in the surrounding area, and a prominent symbol for its immediate coastal and maritime context.
Perhaps above all else, the opening span is based on the simplest concept for any opening bridge 0 a single bascule leaf. Avoiding swing options and options that require locking pins at either end eliminates the need for more complicated systems commonly used for opening bridges. By adopting such a simple mechanical principle, associated control other secondary systems are also vastly simplified thereby providing a proportional increase in overall reliability as it is often these secondary systems which prove to be least reliable.
The long lever arm of the counterbalance further increases the efficiency of the bridge and the balanced form of opening desk and mast provide a legible expression of the opening sequence in the closed position the form gives the impression of the potential for movement, whilst during opening the tipping of the mast is a direct counterpoint to the lifting of the deck”, Moxon Architects
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