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Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

Friday 11 Dec 2009

Calatrava's crossing

Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland
(c) Peter Barrow Photographer 
Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland Samuel Beckett Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Dublin, Ireland
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13/04/10 Samuel Mudehwe, Mullingar
The Samuel Beckett Bridge forms the final cherry on the on going Dublin Docklands.It is the second iconic structure on the River Liffey by the same Architect / Engineer.I believe this is one of his masterpieces and what a beauty.
Was on site when the precast components arrived sometime last year.
Well done to Santiago, now the challenge to him is to come up with a more iconic structure to span and compliment the famous Victoria Falls!!!!!
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16/12/09 Davison, Bournemouth
Sorry to Harp on... Whilst Calatrava and Bryan consider the SBB to be a Masterpiece others may not. It is a vague representation that Celtic Harp aficionados may certainly have difficulty interpreting and after the first traffic jam the poetic soul may become weary even in the most ardent daydreamer.

And why did the 60,000,000 Euro's predominately go to Dutch companies, when there are Irish constructors on the doorstep?

Does anyone know what Calatrava's fee was for this project or did he do it for free to seal his deep affinity with the people of Dublin?
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16/12/09 Steve, Toronto
Last picture is Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
15/12/09 Davison, Bournemouth
From the above picture it appears that a dinosaur is looming large over the quayside and has caused a building to lean back in terror. A tenuous link with a harp. How do bridge designers get away with producing structures that rely on backstay cabling in a constant state of tension which is near nigh impossible to inspect and maintain? In Poole we have proposals for a new 'Twin sail' lifting bridge to work in parallel with the existing 'Old Town' lifting bridge i.e. double the energy input and double the chaos when shipping goes through! Cannot imagine how long it will take the Samuel Beckett Bridge to open through 90degrees but can guess it will cause a few traffic jams!. When will they ever learn.
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15/12/09 Dima, Dubai
Calatrava's brilliance has always been in transforming a massive, overbearing, hovering structure like a bridge into a slender, elegant, and aerodynamic masterpiece. Please don't forget he's an engineer as well and has been using his technical acumen to accentuate the structural integrity of his designs. While this particular bridge is not my favourite amongst his impressive portfolio, it still bears his signature which distiguishes it from most other common designs.
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15/12/09 derek, Rotterdam
Apologies, just seen the bridge pylon in the lower half of the aerial photo. Actually, it's a good shot as it highlights the fact that Calatrava is churning out pretty mediocre bridges. The Erasmus bridge is far more elegant.
15/12/09 derek, Rotterdam
The aerial shot is the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam by UN Studio!
15/12/09 Tony, O'Daly
Hey!! What city is that in the last photo.TO'D
15/12/09 admirer, Bryan
They will forget about the "jams" while enjoying the beauty of the masterpiece. Some simply don't get it!

Long awaited Samuel Beckett Bridge opens 

Dubliners took their first steps across the Samuel Beckett Bridge yesterday following its official inauguration. The six-laned bridge is Santiago Calatrava's second in the Irish capital city being preceded by the James Joyce Bridge which was completed in 2003.

“It’s rare that an artist is able to contribute to the blueprint of such a historically rich city and I am deeply honoured to provide Dublin with not one, but two signature bridges,” said Calatrava. “While working on the James Joyce Bridge, I developed a deep affinity for the people of Dublin, and I wanted my next bridge to celebrate that connection. It is my sincere hope that the Samuel Beckett Bridge will serve as a monument to Dublin, honouring its past, present and future.”

And indeed the bridge serves as a monument to Ireland itself, its form envisioned as a harp - a prominent symbol of Ireland, with steel cables as its strings, and being named after a famous Irish author as in his prior James Joyce Bridge.

Construction of the Samuel Beckett bridge began in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in May 2007 and involved the assembly of 8 steel bridge sections to create a 123 metre deck span. A 46 metre high steel curved pylon was fabricated and connected to the deck and 25 forestay and 6 backstay cables were installed to create the main superstructure. The structure was then shipped via barge for 628 miles and on a third attempt the body of the bridge was manoeuvred into place in May. It now offers a multi-modal crossing connecting the north and south sides of the River Liffey with four lanes for motor transport, two lanes for pedestrian and cycle ways and space for trams in the future. Resting on a reinforced concrete support pier the bridge is capable of swinging 90 degrees to make way for maritime traffic.

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Complete
Value 59.95(m€)
Santiago Calatrava

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