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This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Presented By: Ghada Said mohamed ali By:

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Presentation on theme: "This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Presented By: Ghada Said mohamed ali By:"— Presentation transcript:

1 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Presented By: Ghada Said mohamed ali By: Peter Reina Web Address: http://archrecord.construction.com/features/digital/ Topic Number: 35 Date: 2004

2 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend The latest cultural adornment to a 2.1-million-square-foot mixed-use development in the Paddington region of West London is a pedestrian bridge that’s as much mobile sculpture as engineered structure. Spanning the mouth of a small dock off the Grand Union canal, the Rolling Bridge rests steady for foot traffic, but opens for boat navigation by curling upward and onto its one fixed support, like a scorpion’s tail. The 39.4-foot-long bridge, which has a steel frame and timber deck, was designed by Thomas Heatherwick Studio of London.

3 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend The structural metamorphosis from footpath to wheel has become a weekly spectacle for passersby since the bridge’s inauguration in September. The feat occurs more often when needed for navigation. “We think it’s fantastic,” says Mike Rayner, an official with Chelsfield, Paddington’s lead developer, which commissioned Heatherwick for the project. Set among a number of Modern, understated buildings, the bridge was detailed “seriously and maturely” and is “almost boring” under normal use, says Stuart Wood, a project designer. “That heightens the element of surprise when it starts to do its action. There is a strong element of theater.”

4 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Structure or sculpture? Since completing his studies in 3D design at Manchester Polytechnic and later the Royal College of Art in London, 34- year-old Heatherwick has adeptly blended art, architecture, engineering, and product design in his work. Among his recent pieces is a seven-story sculpture of 150,000 glasslike beads, linked by more than half a million miles of wire, for a corporate headquarters in London.

5 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Heatherwick says he wanted the bridge to open in a “sensuous manner, transforming itself entirely, rather than simply lifting up and out of the way.” Conventional drawbridges or retracting bridges “look broken” when opening, adds Wood. A structure that curled upon itself, on the other hand, would “look complete in both states.” Heatherwick collaborated with an engineering team that included structural designer SKM Anthony Hunts of Cirencester. Heatherwick and the firm had been looking for a site to build an all-glass bridge they had conceived in the 1990s, says Alan Jones, a principal of Hunts. Paddington looked like a possible setting when Chelsfield called, but the scheme was ultimately replaced by the Rolling Bridge. A structure that curled upon itself, on the other hand, would “look complete in both states.” Heatherwick collaborated with an engineering team that included structural designer SKM Anthony Hunts of Cirencester. Heatherwick and the firm had been looking for a site to build an all-glass bridge they had conceived in the 1990s, says Alan Jones, a principal of Hunts. Paddington looked like a possible setting when Chelsfield called, but the scheme was ultimately replaced by the Rolling Bridge.

6 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend The 4.5-ton bridge is made of eight segments joined together by hinges. Its articulated balustrades act as trusses, with the deck-floor elements acting in tension and the handrails in compression. Seven vertical pistons above the deck hinges form part of the balustrades. They also control the bridge’s opening motion, which is powered by underground hydraulic equipment.

7 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend When the bridge needs to be opened, the pistons along the deck elongate. As this happens, articulated sections of the balustrade over each part of the footpath turn toward each other, causing the bridge to curl up. When fully open, the bridge forms a loop with the tip resting on the base. Closing the bridge involves reversing the process in an operation lasting less than three minutes.

8 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Initially the bridge was designed to be retracted into three quarters of a full circle by pulling cables in the handrails. The structure would have opened again under its own weight, without the aid of machinery. But for better access and other reasons, the design team opted for a bridge that would bend into a complete circle, which eliminated the possibility of using gravity’s forces for reopening it. At that stage, the bridge was to be curled section by section, with pistons activated in turn, expending minimum energy, says Jones. Then Heatherwick asked the engineers if the segments could be retracted at the same time and speed. “I think this is a work of art,” Jones declares. “It ceased to be purely structural when its function was determined more by aesthetics than mechanics.”

9 This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend This London Bridge doesn’t fall down—it does a backbend Then Heatherwick asked the engineers if the segments could be retracted at the same time and speed. “I think this is a work of art,” Jones declares. “It ceased to be purely structural when its function was determined more by aesthetics than mechanics.” Considered a maverick among the U.K.’s design circles, Heather-wick has shown a flair for the dramatic at many scales. In 1997, he designed a window display for Harvey Nichols in London that broke the plane between private and public space, extending from the store onto the sidewalk. Upcoming work includes the U.K.’s tallest monument, which will be built at Manchester Stadium; a Buddhist temple in Japan; and a tote bag for clothing manufacturer Longchamp.


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