New book celebrates Kurilpa Bridge journey and success
20 April 2012
The journey to create the world’s first tensegrity bridge has been captured for all to see in a photographic book which was launched at the Gallery of Modern Art this week.
Described as a “visual feast” and featuring hundreds of spectacular full colour photographs, the Kurlipa Bridge book was authored by Australia’s leading architecture writers, Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper.
Kurilpa Bridge design and construction partners Baulderstone, Cox Rayner, Arup and the Department of Public Works commissioned the book to celebrate the success of the project which has won 11 awards including the 2011 World Architecture Festival Award.
Baulderstone General Manager Queensland Stephen Green said Kurilpa is the world’s first tensegrity pedestrian and cyclist bridge which balanced tension and compression to produce a light, yet strong structure.
“Since it was built two years ago, the Kurilpa Bridge has been a major success, not only in terms of accolades, but encouraging many locals and tourists to use the bridge to access the city’s cultural and art precinct,” Mr Green said.
“From a construction standpoint – it is a once in a decade job and will be added to the list of iconic structures Baulderstone has created over the past 80 years. This book is a fantastic record of that and a reminder of the excellent collaboration and partnership we shared with Cox Rayner, Arup and the Department of Public Works.
In 2006 the Queensland Government hosted a design competition for a new bridge which was to ‘provide a link from the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in the South Bank Precinct to Tank Street in the Central Business District’.
Baulderstone, Cox Rayner and Arup won the competition with the innovative tensegrity bridge design and construction started in October 2007. On October 4, 2009 the new bridge was officially opened to the public.
Cox Rayner Principal Michael Rayner said that with Kurilpa Bridge winning the World Architecture Festival’s Transport Architecture Award in Barcelona last year, the book is very timely. “It is not often we get to tell the story of one of our projects, but Kurilpa Bridge’s evolution is worth explaining. Hopefully, it will inspire not only future bridge designs but recognises that all public spaces in cities need to be evocative and intriguing.”
Arup Principal Ian Ainsworth said that Arup was very pleased to be able to sponsor the new book. “The book not only provides a wonderful photographic record of the completed bridge and the bridge during construction, but it also provides an insight in to the way in which a world-first design was conceived and delivered on time and on budget despite the considerable technical challenges posed by building over a busy river and expressway”.
He added that “Arup is very proud to have been responsible for the engineering design of a project that is not only being well used by the local community, but which has attracted great national and international interest and accolades. Even two years after completion, we still receive regular requests from overseas researchers and designers seeking details of the way in which the Queensland team designed and constructed the bridge”.
Baulderstone, Cox Rayner & Arup’s work on the project was recognised by Engineers Australia at last year’s Queensland awards where they were jointly awarded the Project Infrastructure over $20 million Excellence Award, and the Innovation Award.
Amongst other accolades last year, the project was recognised at the Australian Steel Institute National Sustainable Steel Awards, and the Australian Institute of Architects Awards for its work on the iconic bridge.
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