Architecture competitions usually put a premium on craziness. But the judges of a Rotterdam design competition took a look at this bridge proposal and threw their hands up in exasperation.
The competition tasked entrants with designing a pedestrian bridge. Bureau SLA proposed a structure that lies flat but rises to let boats pass, in a motion that recalls a giant pair of scissors being opened (see below). They backed their design with calculations from a well-respected engineering firm, but as a competition spokesperson explained, “The city’s engineers still cannot believe it. This is too difficult, surely this is madness! The best thing to do and be done with the whole conundrum is to disqualify the entry.” Bureau SLA retorted that Rotterdam was “too afraid.”
Mind you, Rotterdam might be one of the most progressive places for architecture in the world—this is the city that Rem Koolhaas and MVRDV call home; one of its best-loved landmarks is an apartment complex that looks like this.
Sadly, we don’t have a structural engineer on staff. But maybe you guys have an opinion about whether a bridge like this might work?