Futuristic Bridge Concepts

Paik Nam Jun Media Bridge, South Korea

 Why should bridges be limited to traffic alone? This incredible concept for the Han River in Seoul imagines the bridge as an essential part of the city itself, filled with activity and attractions including a museum, library, and IT offices. People can even arrive via water taxi. The design, by Planning Korea, has a ‘skin’ covered in solar panels that would also function as a massive canvas for art and videos.

 Could bridges, which are often positioned over waterways that could act as wind corridors, be used to harvest energy? This concept by Michael Jantzen puts a footbridge to work, equipping it with a series of turbines that turn around pedestrians as they walk through it.

London Bridge has been reincarnated several times already, and someday soon, it will be due for a refresh. Will the 21st-century version be a vision of sustainable urban living, with solar-powered spires covered in vertical farms towering into the air? Chetwood Architects’ proposal would harness solar and wind power, collect rainwater, grow and sell food and even house markets, cafes, restaurants and residences.

The Hoover Dam Re-imagined, Nevada & Arizona

At the Hoover Dam, the sheet of water pouring over a face of simple concrete is without a doubt the main attraction. Can you imagine if instead it looked like this, with the water entering a series of containers “to engage directly with visitors?” Designer Yheu-Shen Chua gives the iconic structure a shockingly futuristic makeover that would certainly be controversial if it ever saw the light of day.

The UK’s Tallest Bridge by Stephen Spence

 This innovative design, created for the River Wear in Sundlerland, could become the UK’s tallest bridge at over 519 feet. Two curved spires cross in the air, supported by cables, in a striking silhouette that will undoubtedly become a local landmark. The status of the project is unclear, but assuming that funds are available, construction is due to start in 2012 with an anticipated completion date in 2015.

It seems that Dubai has been on a quest to produce the biggest, most jaw-dropping architectural projects in the world, so it’s no surprise that they’re currently constructing the world’s longest and tallest arch bridge. The design, by NYC firm FXFowle, seems to flout the laws of physics. It may look like the kind of design that’s destined to remain a concept forever, but the Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Bridge is due for completion in 2012. It’ll have 12 passenger lanes, a dual rail track for Dubai’s Metro Green Line and a man-made island with an opera house, and will carry some 20,000 vehicles per hour.

Zaha Hadid’s Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Dubai

 Asymmetrical steel arches form a wave-like design, emerging from cantilevered road decks on either side, in this design for Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Bridge by Zaha Hadid. The architect believes that the bridge, a part of a major four-line highway connecting Abu Dhabi island to the mainland, will become a destination in itself. It’s currently under construction.


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