Well I had never heard of these cards until HP pointed them out to me. The cards, originally started by Brian Eno (yea Roxy music) and Peter Schmidt, are intended to jump start your creativity.
The Oblique Strategies cards “serve as a series of prompts which said, “Don’t forget that you could adopt *this* attitude,” or “Don’t forget you could adopt *that* attitude.”
Essentially they are questions to help loosen up your design approach in the face of heavy time constraints. Three sets of questions are online.
Some of the questions I liked are:
Abandon normal instruments
Define an area as ‘safe’ and use it as an anchor
Do nothing for as long as possible (my personal fav.)
Do we need holes?
Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance
The images below were drawn and computer rendered by a friend of mine. (The arch will be built in the next few years.)
He did not develop the design but provided the final images for public viewing. i believe he spent well over a 100 hours drawing up the single span arch.
When you enter a design contest, is this the level of realism you require or is it better to leave the concept a little more vague?
I have been trying to use the creative side of my brain lately and I am finding it is woefully underdeveloped. To try and jumpstart my inner Calatrava I spoke with an architect friend of mine about design ideas. I always thought it was important to design a bridge that reflects some of the context the bridge will be embracing. For example, if a city was famous for tall building maybe a tall bridge would be the way to go. (Or a short bridge to play off the height of the surrounding site.)
But then my friend springs the idea that a design can just be cool and it can be left to others to define what the bridge means. The idea is, you can design a bridge that can be placed almost anywhere. You could have a bunch of innovative designs sitting on the shelf just wanting for a design competition.
So now i am confused (not the first time.) does a bridge have to mean anything to a site of just look cool?
Some random bridge pictures for a Saturday morning.
So I finally picked a direction after much head scratching for the Calgary bridge. I had an idea that used a stressed ribbon bridge. BUT…when I started laying out some ideas in Sketchup I didn’t like the idea of having a sag curve over the water. It seems to require fairly tall anchorages which I think are a little bit of overkill for this site. Which means going back to an idea I had using a cable stay kind of structure. I think the cable stay will allow a positive profile grade which looks cool and helps to drain the water to the end supports. So back to the drawing board.
The biggest problem (among many) in entering a contest by yourself is the amount of work involved. I need interns, preferably professional engineers, architects, graphic designers who all work for free. Then I could sketch ideas and the interns could work fleshing them out. “Hey you, another coffee latte over here, stat”.
An example of a stressed ribbon by Brego on wiki. (It kinda looks limp to me.)
I lived in Calgary for 25 years and the thing I remember the most is playing road hockey night after night with my brothers. We used tennis balls instead of a puck and we had to rotate them when they eventually froze. (Playing goalie and getting hit with a frozen sphere can hurt…you know where.)
I have been trying to come up with a design for their new St. Patrick Island link but I am having bridge designer’s block. Reading the RFP yet again it seems the money is on one bridge with some kind of access ramp from the bridge to the island. If I have my math correct (remember I use feet now and not meters..) the bridge will float over the Island about 3-4 meters, to stay above high water levels. The recommended orientation is shown in red below. (not my design just a marker)
My design block is trying to figure a decent ramp down from the bridge. I thought maybe a nice 10-20m diameter meeting plaza, over the Island, would provide a nice spot for people to sit, eat lunch and meet up. (wow that’s original) The plaza would have a ramp the would connect down to the island. I thought about a spiral ramp underneath or using a great staircase with an adjacent ramp. (maybe the staircase could then be used as amphitheater seating for a performance circle at the end of the ramp.)
Then I thought isn’t that overkill for this spot? I also hate the bridge flying over the Island. Without a good design, the area underneath will be a dead zone. The Island may not have much of a beach but a bridge overhead can’t be that appealing. Then I thought the best solution would be two smaller more intimate bridges with a path between them and some great park landscaping all around. (If the landscaping was flooded the cost to fix it would be small.)
The purple bridges in the picture represent the smaller bridges. (The white bridge is an existing suspension bridge.)
So am I off my rocker to think that the massive bridge is a little much for this site? Can the bridge floating over the Island be designed to avoid the dead zone underneath. ( I even thought of putting shops under the bridge in a circle, but I worried they would be flooded out.) Help!
I have added some site views below the fold.
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Erosion (what we call scour, a terrible sounding word) can really affect a bridge pier.
Another bridge had a problem in Belfast.
If you saw the link in the previous post to the latest FAQ from the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, you might have read some odd things.
For me, two answers stood out. 1) The RFP and the FAQ both give the impression that a team is the preferred option. Since I am a team of one, this might be a spot of trouble for me (yes its all about me)…
Answer #2) The CMLC is the sole judge in step one and they will filter which designs move forward to the public. This seems fairly odd for a “open” design competition, because the CMLC’s criteria for moving options forward is unclear. The first batch of entrants could hold a great design but only the ones the CMLC allows through will be moved into the public sphere.
I like the idea of throwing all the entries into the open. Let the public decide what the best bridge design is for the residents of Calgary.
If you don’t make it through the first round, send me your design I would love to post it.
I also wonder if posting your design and entering the contest would help you move to the second round? What I mean by that is, would it be possible to build enthusiasm for your design if you advertised it before submitting it? Imagine if Calatrava posted a solution a day before the final turn-in. I wonder if that would help or hurt a designers chances? Has anyone done this and won?
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Proposed skylink bridge. Not sure how the plants work. (sketchup drawing.)
Proposed pedestrian bridge in British Columbia, Canada. I’m not sure the structure would actually stand up with those member sizes and cable placements.
These are bridge pictures I stole from the Happy Pontist. I think these concepts would work for the Calgary bridge. (sorry I tried to stay away from that bridge!) (Below the fold.)
Update: Here are some answers to recent questions about the Calgary bridge. Mine was #16.
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Sorry about the Calgary bridge appearing so much…I will try to get back more regular programing..(quick photomontage practice)
I was looking through the competition “rules” for the proposed Calgary pedestrian bridge and a couple of things stood out. The budget is $25 million which includes all design fees, permits, construction, etc to get the bridge in place. So when I get my 10% design fee (Ha!) the bridge will have to be built for $22.5 million. (They did hint they could go higher with the budget if the bridge concept was worth it.)
In my initial planning I thought two bridges would be the best way to go. With that in mind I looked at the distances and I calculated one bridge with a 110 m span and one with 68 meters. (Not the same as I showed in an earlier post.) I thought some curved structures with one or two piers in the river would make the bridge fun to walk across. (Straight is boring)
BUT the RFP suggests that piers in the river would be frowned upon. That may still allow two bridges but it forces you to look at bridge types that can handle a 110 meter single span. Most likely (I think) concepts will show a single tower (or sculpture) on the island, used as a cable stay bridge. (Like the goofy Golden Trumpet I made this afternoon for fun. It has yellow a brick road!)
The island is the low spot at an elevation of 1039.25 m. The minimum elevation over the highest ice level, with 1.5 meters of freeboard, is about 1043.5 meters. The two banks are at about 1043 meters in elevation.
Hey HP if your not in the competition, do you think the lack of piers in the river limit the designs?
One with people!