Slinky Springs to Fame, Oberhausen bridge sculpture, Rhine-Herne canal crossing design, German architecture, Architect

Slinky Springs to Fame : German Sculpture

Bridge in Oberhausen design by Schlaich Bergermann and Partner.

2 Apr 2013

Design: Schlaich Bergermann and Partner

Location: over the Rhine-Herne canal, Oberhausen, Ruhrgebeit, northwest Germany

Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture, Germany
photo : Roman Mensing

Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture

The 406 m long pedestrian bridge across the Rhine-Herne canal is part of the project EMSCHERKUNST 2010. Artist Tobias Rehberger envisioned a colourful ribbon wrapped in a wild, swinging spiral connecting two parks. Initial tests on the technical feasibility soon showed that the spiral, which was supposed to appear as light and vibrant as possible, could not act as support structure for the bridge.

Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture
photos : Roman Mensing

The proposed solution to achieve the desired effect was to build a minimalist version of a stress ribbon bridge as supporting structure. Steel contributes to sustainability: low consumption of material because of high bearing capacity, and easy to recycle. By using high-strength steel, the material consumption could be reduced even more.

Two ribbons made of high-strength steel S690 run in a height of 10 m across columns inclined towards the canal and are anchored on columns inclined away from the canal (spans: 20 – 66 – 20 m). The resulting tension force is transferred into strong abutments through the outer vertical tension rods. Long curved ramp bridges (130 resp. 170 m) provide convenient access.

Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture
photo : Hans Blossey

The whole bridge is wrapped in an undulating spiral (5 m diameter) made of aluminium hollow sections. For the technical realisation of the complex 3D geometry, individual modules were developed which were then combined to create the desired geometry. The walkway consists of pre-cast concrete plates, bolted to the stress ribbon, to which the railing and spiral are attached.

The springy synthetic pavement as well as the colorful rhythmization of both concrete and coating amplifies the dynamic experience of the bridge. Thus, the structure enables the implementation of the artistic concept and, as desired, makes the bridge appear as a work of art. It could not have been realized without the successful collaboration between civil engineers, the artist, and the open-minded client.

Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture
photo : Photoprop, Wupperta

Oberhausen Bridge Sculpture images / information received from Schlaich Bergermann and Partner

Location: Rhine-Herne canal, Oberhausen, Ruhr area, northwest Germany, western Europe

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