Proposed Swedish bridge offers stellar river views with amphitheater-like seating

February 14, 2018 by  
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Erik Andersson Architects has proposed a new type of bridge for Kalix, Sweden that does more than just connect riverbanks—it also doubles as coveted public space. The Swedish Traffic Administration tapped the architecture firm for the proposal in anticipation of the upcoming 2019 replacement of an existing bridge over the Kalix River. The conceptual bridge extends outwards over the water to form amphitheater-like seating where the public can gather and get closer to the river. Located at the junction between the river and the sea in northern Sweden , Kalix owes much to its rivers, from its name to Kalixlöjrom, a culinary delicacy specific to the area. Thus, the Swedish Traffic Administration asked Erik Andersson Architects to design a new bridge that would also serve as a central gathering place by the riverside. Drawing on their experience with bridge design across Sweden, the firm proposed a design that offered separate routes for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists , as well as public spaces with seating and shelter. Related: Tree-topped bridge to double as public space for a historic Chinese town “The idea behind the bridge is to turn a simple crossing of the river into an experience and create a warm atmosphere,” said Erik Andersson. “The bridge is a hybrid of an amphitheatre and a bridge. We also wanted to make it possible for people to get near the water surface and enjoy the view, while at the same time giving protection from the weather which can get harsh in this part of the country.” To provide shelter, the architects turned the elevated car and cycle paths into a roof-like structure that provides shelter to the pedestrian pathway below. The bridge’s supporting arches are built outwards to serve as gathering spaces that step down to the water and face south to capture the warmth of the sun. + Erik Andersson Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Erik Andersson Architects

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Proposed Swedish bridge offers stellar river views with amphitheater-like seating

Tree-topped bridge to double as public space for a historic Chinese town

February 8, 2018 by  
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MVRDV has won a competition for Dawn Bridge, a new multi-use bridge near Shanghai that will give locals and visitors the chance to experience a historic Chinese water town in a whole new way. Located near the famous water town Zhujiajiao, this new 80-meter-long landmark will be topped with trees and amphitheater-like seating that overlooks views of the water and riverside architecture. To blend the modern bridge into its surroundings, the architects drew a contextual palette of colors and materials referencing the local vernacular. Located between the 16th century Fangsheng Bridge and the Qingpu Road Bridge, the 24-meter-wide Dawn Bridge will mark a new era of development in the riverfront area. MVRDV’s winning design proposes a bridge that doubles as public space by turning part of the deck into amphitheater -like seating optimized for gatherings, meetings, and beautiful views of Zhujiajiao. The bridge also provides sufficient clearance to the approximately 80-meter-wide active riverbed that’s used for activities year-round. “The vertical alignment of Dawn Bridge defines a sense of lightness and elegance, and our aim was to provide a graceful low curve above the river that also blends with the landscape”, says Wenchian Shi, Partner at MVRDV. “Beyond blending, we wanted to create a bridge that invites public life over and around it and that is accessible to all people whether on foot or on wheels.” Related: World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens in the Netherlands The bridge’s pedestrian deck and landings will be painted in the same reddish hue as the wood found in the nearby houses, while the gray roofs and white walls of the local residences are echoed in the bridge’s white structural frame and gray asphalt. Proposed plantings and trees on the bridge mimic the greenery of the riverbanks . Completion is anticipated for 2019. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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Tree-topped bridge to double as public space for a historic Chinese town

Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to connect UK and France

January 19, 2018 by  
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Could a 22-mile bridge crossing the English Channel help boost transport between the United Kingdom and France after Brexit ? Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson thinks so – he proposed the infrastructure project and spoke about a second link with France’s president Emmanuel Macron . Johnson reportedly said to Macron that it’s ridiculous that two of the largest economies in the world are joined by only one railway line. The publication said Macron “is understood to have responded positively.” Johnson tweeted a picture of the two of them flashing a thumbs-up after what he described as great meetings. En marche ! Great meetings with French counterparts today pic.twitter.com/D73B1rSkd3 — Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 18, 2018 Related: New bridge linking Japan and Russia could enable 8400-mile rail trip from London to Tokyo But some people put the brakes on the idea . The United Kingdom Chamber of Shipping, which represents over 180 maritime industry bodies, tweeted there would be challenges with such an undertaking. CEO Guy Platten told The Guardian the Dover Strait – at the English Channel’s narrowest part – “is the world’s busiest shipping lane” and that the largest ships going through the strait can be around 70 meters, or nearly 230 feet, tall. Others pointed out that such a bridge would be incredibly expensive. Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges. https://t.co/jYD5O8B19W — UK Shipping (@ukshipping) January 18, 2018 Reuters reported France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 radio, “All ideas merit consideration, even the most far-fetched ones … Let’s finish things that are already under way before thinking of new ones.” And a spokesperson for prime minister Theresa May said there were “no specific plans” regarding a Channel bridge: “What was agreed yesterday, and I think that’s what the foreign secretary tweeted about as well, is a panel of experts who will look at major projects together including infrastructure.” But according to The Guardian, some engineers said the Channel bridge idea might not be so far-fetched; architect Alan Dunlop pointed to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which is around 34 miles long. Bridge designer Ian Firth told BBC Radio 4’s Today program the project would be entirely feasible, and that before construction of the Channel tunnel there were bridge options being considered. Firth said, “There are bridges of a similar, if not quite the same, scale elsewhere…It would be a huge undertaking, but it would be absolutely possible, and shipping impact issues could be dealt with.” Via The Guardian (1, 2) and Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to connect UK and France

This mesmerizing lamp reacts to earthquakes across the globe in real time

January 19, 2018 by  
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This minimalist lamp responds in real time to earthquakes around the world. French artist Fabien Bouchard , who works under the name Parse/Error , linked the lamp to the data from IRIS ( Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology ) to which it reacts by emitting light pulses and rumble-like sounds when an earthquake occurs. The clean, simple design makes the Earthquake Lamp a beautiful object for any home, but its purpose makes it more than a beautiful light source . The artist, who lived through the great 2011 T?hoku earthquake in Japan , drew inspiration from this devastating event and created an object that would offer a tangible connection to the Earth and the power of nature. Related: 14 brilliant new lighting designs that will inspire you Its shape– a flattened planisphere that represents the axis of the longitudes– gives off light and sound pulses that change according to the location, magnitude and duration of earthquake across the globe. Linked to a sub-woofer, the Earthquake Lamp produces an impressive rumble that will stop you in your tracks and induce a sense of both fascination and anxiety. + ParseError

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This mesmerizing lamp reacts to earthquakes across the globe in real time

New bridge linking Japan and Russia could enable 8400-mile rail trip from London to Tokyo

September 8, 2017 by  
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The Trans-Siberian railway could stretch over to Japan under a proposal from the Russian government. The two countries are reportedly having serious discussions to build a 28-mile bridge that would connect them for train travel. If the bridge is built, you’d be able to journey from Tokyo to London by train across 8,400 miles. Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly aims to increase investment in the country’s eastern areas. He recently hosted Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum, where the plans for the connection were revealed. The move could be a big step for the two countries: they never signed a formal peace agreement after WWII, so the proposal has been termed a bridge across history. Related: China takes on the Hyperloop with a supersonic ‘flying train’ The Siberian Times quoted first vice-premier Igor Shuvalov: “We are seriously offering Japanese partners to consider the construction of a mixed road and railway passage from Hokkaido to southern part of Sakhalin.” The Trans-Siberian line ends right now in Vladivostok, but under the new proposal the line would lengthen to the Russian island of Sakhalin, and then to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island. From there, travelers could connect to Japan’s rail network to make their way to Tokyo. The 28-mile bridge would stretch between Cape Crillon on Sakhalin and Cape Soya on Hokkaido. According to Shuvalov, the line would allow Japan to become a continental state. “Given modern technologies , it is not even that expensive,” he said. Sergei Ivanov, Putin’s environmental advisor, said a connection between Japan and Sakhalin is a long-held dream. He also said the line would benefit oil and gas production in Russia. Travelers right now typically travel from London to Moscow by train to connect to the Trans-Siberian railway. Via The Independent , The Times , and The Siberian Times Images via Boccaccio1 on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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New bridge linking Japan and Russia could enable 8400-mile rail trip from London to Tokyo

Self-taught designer builds a secret studio under a bridge in Valencia

August 21, 2017 by  
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Self-taught designer Fernando Abellanas built a studio bedroom in a very unusual place – the underside of a bridge in Valencia, Spain . This tiny moveable workspace has everything he needs – including shelves, a chair and a desk – bolted into the concrete wall of a bridge. The designer built the workspace entirely himself. He installed a hand crank and rails, along which the metal base can move from one side of the bridge to the other. From this hidden space, he can live and work while enjoying complete privacy. Seen from underneath the bridge , the room looks like a small box with foldable sides. Related: You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less than a week for under $7000 Abellanas hasn’t revealed the actual location of the “cabin”. “The project is an ephemeral intervention, [it will remain] until someone finds it and decides to steal the materials, or the authorities remove it,” he said. Hidden away from passing cars and trains, the space provides the designer with a sense of peace and brings back childhood memories of hiding under a table. + Lebrel | Future Positive Via Archinect

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Self-taught designer builds a secret studio under a bridge in Valencia

Living green bridge keeps wildlife safe from a busy highway

June 28, 2017 by  
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This stunning green bridge creates a natural connection between two mountain peaks near Seoul in Korea . Blending seamlessly into its surroundings, the bridge provides safe passage for wild animals and references the traditional Korean garden pavilion. The sides of the undulating structure simulate an organic mountainside path, while the center provides a more linear experience for humans. The bridge acts as an extension of two existing mountain slopes separated by a busy highway. It is positioned at an optimal altitude in order to create a safe separation for traffic and wildlife. Related: Living Growing Root Bridges Are 100% Natural Architecture The architectural language of the structure reminds of the rhythmic nature of the traditional Korean garden pavilions which were used as a way of establishing a stronger connection with nature. The central core of the bridge forms a straight path for humans, while the suspended segments on its sides create a gently undulating slope used by animals. Offering an experience similar to that of walking on a side of a mountain, the gradually opens up toward expansive vistas of Seoul and the north. The structure, designed by team KILD –architects Ivane Ksnelashvili , Petras Išora and Ona Lozuraityt? – received first prize at the Yang Jagogae Eco-Bridge Design Competition. + Ivane Ksnelashvili + Petras Išora + Ona Lozuraityt?

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Living green bridge keeps wildlife safe from a busy highway

Ethereal bubble building pops up in the middle of a Dutch forest

June 28, 2017 by  
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This gigantic bubble tucked in the middle of a forest may look like something out of a fairy tale, but it’s actually a gorgeous performance space in the Netherlands. Berlin-based collective Plastique Fantastique created the monumental inflatable pavilion – named Loud Shadows – for the Oerol Festival as a music and art space that integrates completely with the surrounding forest. Loud Shadows was conceived as a joint project of Plastique Fantastique, Kate Moore, The Soltz, and LeineRoebana. It references the name of the festival, which means “everywhere’ in Dutch, and the intent to use the entire island as a large performance and exhibition space . Related: Inflatable pop-up night club can disappear as soon as the party is over The transparent skin blurs the line between the interior and the exterior, the building and its natural surroundings. It offers views of the forest, while creating an intimate space where art, music and dance merge together. The temporary installation is divided into three parts: two bubbles placed on either side of an opaque walkable circular tube. Made of plastic, this space can be installed almost anywhere. + Plastique Fantastique Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Marco Canevacci , Jelte Keur, Maria Purik

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Ethereal bubble building pops up in the middle of a Dutch forest

Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy

March 2, 2017 by  
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China is infamous for copying famous architecture from other countries – according to The New York Times the country boasts 10 White Houses, a couple of Great Sphinxes, four Arcs de Triomphe, and at minimum one Eiffel Tower. Now in the city of Suzhou, a Tower Bridge based on London’s iconic landmark is drawing attention, although the New York Times says it’s unclear why the bridge , which was completed in 2012, has suddenly been garnering international notice. Images of Suzhou’s Tower Bridge have drawn awe – one news outlet described the Chinese bridge as even more magnificent than the original. Suzhou’s bridge certainly is much larger; it accommodates a five-lane highway and flaunts four towers instead of two. Pedestrian walkways and observation platforms allow people to enjoy the views and architecture of the bridge. Related: China officially bans ‘weird’ architecture But not everyone is enamored with the Chinese Tower Bridge. Suzhou, which has been called the Venice of the East, has its own architectural traditions, such as whitewashed courtyard houses and ancient gardens. Some of China’s most beautiful traditional architecture can be found in the city. Li Yingwu, president of Beijing-based firm OAD Group , called Suzhou’s Tower Bridge plagiarism. He said, “I was really surprised that it got built in Suzhou, because it has preserved its culture really well. It shows that local officials lack confidence in their own culture. They don’t understand that architecture essentially is about culture. It’s not merely an object.” One news outlet, JSChina.com.cn , even suggested the copycat bridge would hinder promotion of the country’s traditional culture. Suzhou has 56 other copycat bridges, according to The New York Times, imitating international bridges like Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge or Paris’ Alexandre III Bridge. Architect Cheng Taining of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told Beijing News in 2015 some officials believe foreign-style structures bestow status on an area, making it look more modern or sophisticated. Via ArchDaily and The New York Times Images via CCTV Facebook

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Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy

World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

March 2, 2017 by  
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Around four billion years ago, bacteria formed tiny tubes and filaments, likely in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. An international team of scientists lead by the University College London (UCL) recently discovered those microorganism remains, preserved for billions of years, which the scientists think could be the oldest fossils humans have ever unearthed. The discovery might even hold clues to life on other planets like Mars .

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World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

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