bridges

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Design

Custom-Built Coffee Tables Constructed from Original Components of the Golden Gate Bridge

February 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Danielle Hankinson

Each rope that suspended San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge from 1935 to the 1970s was made of 229 individual strands arranged in a unique “lay” created at John A. Roeblin’s Sons Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Though these suspender ropes were retired about fifty years ago, the history and strength imbued in them lives on. Strands of History, a Tahoe City, California-based company founded in 2016, focuses on building functional items using the bridge’s original ropes, including a spectacular wood and steel coffee table.

Mary Zimmerman of the Strands of History team explains to Colossal that the company was able to verify the rope’s authenticity by reviewing the original schematics from the Roebling’s company. Every suspension bridge has ropes with a unique lay, which create a sort of finger print for the bridge’s materials.

Once a sufficient supply was in the hands of Strands of History, the company got to work determining a way to showcase the strength, beauty, and history of their chosen material. The incredibly strong rope weighs one pound per inch, and is so dense that only five cuts can be made before a fresh 14-inch abrasive blade is required. Strands of History brought in experts from Bushey Ironworks and Roundwood Furniture to help design the coffee table and wrangle the finicky raw materials. Bushey weighed in with forge welding techniques to stabilize the ropes, and Roundwood suggested a deeply striated Claro walnut wood that is about 80 years old.

In creating something new out of such storied materials, Zimmerman explains, “All of us that work on these projects are committed to the preservation of this historic steel. This required exploring various techniques to maintain [the rope’s] structural integrity, as well as to preserve the unique lay of the wire and its inherent beauty and attraction.”

You can take a look inside Strands of History’s workshop on Instagram, and learn more about their projects with the Golden Gate Bridge suspender ropes on the company’s website. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design

Vietnam’s Newly Opened Pedestrian Bridge Lifts Visitors with a Pair of Giant Weathered Hands

July 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Two giant hands seem to suspend a golden pedestrian bridge which recently opened at the Bà Nà Hills mountain resort just outside of the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. The 500-foot bridge rests in two outstretched palms which have been weathered with cracks and moss to give the appearance of age. While walking along the attraction visitors can look out over the sweeping mountains at a height of nearly 4,600 feet above sea level, and take in the beauty of the bright purple Lobelia Chrysanthemum flowers which dot the structure’s perimeter. The bridge is part of a $2 billion investment to bring more visitors to the area, and joins a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-themed park and French gardens. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Design

PaperBridge: A Load-Bearing Arch of Paper Sheets Spans an English Creek

May 18, 2015

Johnny Waldman

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all photos by Steve Messam courtesy the artist

While it’s certainly not the longest, this weight-bearing structure is definitely one of the more interesting bridges we’ve come across. Unveiled earlier this month, PaperBridge is the latest site-specific installation by environmental artist Steve Messam. It was constructed using 22,000 sheets of bright, red paper. And despite weighing in at over 4.2 tons, the free-standing structure doesn’t have a single screw, bolt or swab of glue holding it together.

On an aesthetic level, PaperBridge acts as focal point that creates a stark contrast between the bridge and the lush landscape. But on a conceptual level, Messam explains the key relationship between the bridge and its surroundings:

Paper is a simple material made from wood pulp and water. The intensity of colour used in the bridge contrasts with the verdant landscape making a bold statement of form and design. Alongside this the materials used have a resonance with the natural environment and the construction of the bridge also reflects local architectural forms, specifically pack horse bridges found throughout the area. All of the paper used in PaperBridge will be recovered and returned to the Burneside Mill for recycling into new paper once the project ends. This transparent cycle is part of the overall environmental narrative of the piece.

PaperBridge was part of the ‘Lakes Ignite’ project. It was located in the Grisedale Valley, near Patterdale and the public was invited to walk across it before it gets taken down today. (via Designboom and The Kid Should See This)

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Design

Movable Footbridge in Paddington, London Opens and Closes Like a Fan

October 7, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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Photographs by Edmund Sumner & Peter Cook, Courtesy Knight Architects

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London bridge is not falling down. It’s folding up. Taking their cue from the way a Japanese hand fan folds open, Knight Architects have completed a bridge in London that is both simple and spectacular. In collaboration with structural engineers AKT II, the bridge experts installed 5 steel beams that open and close in sequence, rising to different angles using hydraulic jacks and assisted by counterweights. “Beautiful, efficient bridge design should satisfy both artistic and scientific analysis to be visually legible and structurally truthful,” say the architects. The moving footbridge bridge is located in Paddington, London and spans the 20-meter width of the Grand Union Canal. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Design

Cameron Moll’s Typographic Letterpress Print of the Brooklyn Bridge

October 21, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Letterpress detail from Colosseo

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Letterpress detail from Salt Lake

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Designer Cameron Moll recently announced a new Kickstarter for a letterpress print of the Brooklyn Bridge constructed entirely from typography. Moll worked entirely in Adobe Illustrator to draw the artwork, and while some sections can be copied and pasted roughly 70-80% of the characters in the artwork were positioned, sized, and rotated one by one. To give you an idea of what the final piece will look like you can see two similar works the designer previously designed, Colosseo and Salt Lake. See more over on Kickstarter.

 

 



Art

Overpass Illusion and Other Murals by Dasic

October 9, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Chilean-born street artist Dasic lives and works in New York where he creates large-scale outdoor murals, paintings, sculptures and other works in a wide variety of different styles, though all of which seem to explode with color. One of my favorite works is an extraordinarily large piece he painted in Newburgh, New York that spans the ceiling as well as the opposite walls underneath a large overpass. Dan Perez sits down with the artist for a brief interview above.

 

 



Art

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread

September 3, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Photo © Luna Park

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Photo © Luna Park

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Photo © Luna Park

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Photo © Patrick Sullivan

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Photo © Patrick Sullivan

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Photo © Patrick Sullivan

Last week Minneapolis artist HOTTEA (previously here and here) stopped by NYC and created this excellent rainbow of thread atop the pedestrian tunnel at the Williamsburg Bridge. Titled Rituals the piece consisted of 2,000 strands that took the artist and his assistants some 11 hours to cut and tie. Photos above courtesy Luna Park and Patrick Sullivan. (via Hyperallergic, Animal)