Here’s an intriguing concept: a bridge made of hundreds of 3-D “pixels”–6.5-foot-by-6.5-foot blocks–that can be stacked, arranged, and rearranged in countless combinations.
“The idea is that, depending on the uses, you could add or remove some modular pieces, to easily create different models, pathways, bike parks, and bridges,” says Gianpiero Venturini, who designed the bridge, with Diego Stefani and Gabriele Rovati, for a canal in Amsterdam.
In their vision, the Pixelated Mountain, as they call it, would be like a park that happens to stretch across water. A span of blocks in various shades of green would rise 16 feet over the canal to let large boats pass by. Then all the fun stuff–a bar, an information booth, a bike repair shop (this is Amsterdam, after all)–would be built on additional blocks spread out beneath the bridge, offering a more visceral connection to the open water. This would be just one way to arrange the blocks, of course. Their modularity makes virtually any configuration possible, virtually anywhere in the world.
Sounds pretty awesome in theory–like a cheap, easy way to build flexibility into structures that are notoriously difficult to update. Though I don’t know too many people who want to go marching across a bridge with parts that are easy to “add or remove.”