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Kurilpa Bridge, Brisbane, Australia 
Tuesday 13 Oct 2009
 
Open crossing 
 
© Christopher Frederick Jones 
 
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No. of Comments: 5

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11/02/12 Caroline, Greece
Fantastic! Its wonderful to see the use of other structural forms. I have always been intrigued by tensegrity. A really impressive landmark!
22/10/11 anthony, brissy
I agree Tamalia, having built bridges in Brisbane myself, i know this bridge is the most impressive bridge i have ever seen. Some Brisbane people dont appretiate this bridge, but i have been across it every time i am in Brisbane, just to admire the bridge, it truely is wonderful.
And yes, very beautiful at night as well, i enjoy it during the day.
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20/03/11 John Guru, Brisbane
This bridge is a hideous construction crossing our River. It just demonstrates the indulgence and whim of it's architects. A pedestrian bridge here should have been a single span and not had a pedestal stuck out in the river. The other bridges nearby are graceful and elegant curving structures and this Kurilpa Bridge is an jarring eyesore compared to them..
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27/03/10 Molly, Brisbane
While the bridge is indeed impressive in it's engineering, it is an eyesore. It is the most hideous bridge I have ever seen. It's like someone threw up a bunch of sticks and they landed in bridge formation
15/01/10 Tamalia, Jakarta
That is the prettiest bridge I have ever seen! Its even more beautiful than my favourite bridge in London, the Albert Bridge. Its also really impressive how the architects seem to have really tried to meet all needs: the needs of the ancient traditions and customs of the aborigines, using solar energy, saving money on the energy and using such an amazing way of designing the bridge. Brisbane is really lucky to have such an outstanding architectural firm available. If only we had such architects in Jakarta!
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Cox Rayner + Arup complete worlds largest tensegrity bridge in Brisbane 

Kurilpa Bridge, the world’s largest tensegrity bridge, was officially opened to the public this week. Designed by the Queensland division of Australia’s Cox Rayner Architects with Arup, the £35.5 million pedestrian and cycle bridge connects Brisbane’s Central Business District with the city’s South Bank and its major cultural precinct. This is the second project the two practices have collaborated on in the last decade following the completion of the Goodwill Bridge in 2000. Both bridges are part of a comprehensive process by the Queensland Government to interconnect two of the city’s major precincts.

The Kurilpa Bridge utilises renowned architect, Richard Buckminster Fuller’s principle of tensegrity producing a synergy between balanced tension and compression components to create a light structure that is incredibly strong.

Asked what the primary reason for exploring the tensegrity potential was, lead architect Michael Rayner explained: “The inherent strength in the tensegrity system meant that the deck could be very thin. As river navigation requirements entailed the bridge needed to be 11 metres above the bank on the South Bank side, the 900mm deck enabled us to minimize the ramp down which otherwise would have eaten into Kurilpa Park, a significant historic meeting place for Aboriginal people”.

Measuring 470 metres long and 6.5 metres wide, the Kurilpa Bridge has several viewing decks and a full length canopy, both of which are supported by a secondary tensegrity structure.

Speaking in the Queensland Parliament, the Premier Anna Bligh said: “With 1500 people moving into South-East Queensland every week, the demand for improved pedestrian and cycle pathways is growing. I am happy that we can meet this practical demand in such an eye pleasing way. The design is a world-first and an exciting new landmark for our State.”

Rayner said neither Cox Rayner nor Arup, lead by its engineer Tristram Carfrae, had any particular metaphor in mind when designing the bridge, but sought to demonstrate a completely new way to span a river that Brisbane could embrace as its own. He remarked: “If anything, we thought more abstractly of dance or contemporary symphony – seeing the bridge as a convergence of art and structure leading people towards the city’s art galleries”.

At night, the bridge will be lit with a sophisticated LED lighting scheme which can be programmed to produce an array of different lighting effects. In most lighting configurations, 100 per cent of the power will be provided by solar energy with any surplus power returned to the main grid. This will amount to savings of around 37.8 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Cox Rayner – Arup have also collaborated on the ‘Helix Bridge’ in Singapore, which is scheduled to complete in March 2010.

Key Facts

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Cox Architecture
www.cox.com.au

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