Submission 2: Martin Cooper - box truss as "cycle" sculpture

Discussion in 'Pedestrian Bridge Design Charette' started by 3Dementia, May 7, 2009.

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How would you rate Submission 2 out of ten?

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  9. 2

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    9.6%
  10. 1

    15 vote(s)
    20.5%
  1. 3Dementia

    3Dementia Senior Member

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    Submission completed May 28/09


    Designer: Martin Cooper

    Bridge Type: box truss

    Project Description: see below including May 28/09 updates

    Poll: attached

    Images: attached



    PROJECT DESCRIPTION
    Many of the most beautiful bridges in the world are suspension bridges. They often have a graceful arc of cable supporting them or a dramatic arrangement of fanned cables flying the deck and its passengers across the open space in a form that is both slender and beautifully delicate. Picture postcards of bridges often show the bridge being admired from below for it’s majestic form when seen aginst the empty sky.
    While I would like to suggest such an engineers dream bridge, I feel this is not a location that needs a suspension bridge with the difficult engineering involved and it’s attendant costs. It is also a place that will not show the graceful form of a suspension bridge to it’s best effect. Urban situatiions are very busy especially at street level. This is true both activity-wise and visually. This bridge will be placed slightly above street level over railroad tracks and a serene graceful shape of a suspension bridge I believe would be wasted, lost amongst the rectiliniar clutter of buildings, tracks, bridges etc that would mix in with it visually. The view looking up at the bridge from below is unavailable at this location as well because there are very limited opportunities to view it from track level. People can and will look down on this bridge from the tall buildings around it but most will see it from the side and at a distance.

    The dramatic sweeping support arcs of a bridge design like the Bloor viaduct also will not suit this location since the trains need all the space underneath.

    The architects of the buildings at CityPlace will be working with a design theme and to have the same architects design the bridge with that matching theme should come first in improving the bridges looks particularly at the Cityplace approach ramp.
    A cheap box truss is being proposed and we are challenged to come up with something better. For many practical reasons I feel a box truss is a good starting point for a bridge design in this location. The challenge is to design something that functions like a box truss without looking like one.
    This bridge will be specifically created for pedestrian traffic and bicycles. It is a bold statement in favour of people over cars in the downtown core. Since bicycles are part of the mix, stairs and steep slopes should be avoided. Most box truss bridges are designed with economy in mind I believe that the costs for this bridges should be kept down so that other bridges may be built at other times and at other locations.
    The simple vertical and diagonal elements of a standard box truss have a form that connects the load points with the least amount of material. A connect-the-dots approach. I suggest that these elements can be modified and re-configured t create a graphic image that speaks languages other than simply geometry and economics.

    I have sketched a couple of suggested designs that can be seen on the accompanying file.

    Sketch #1 is to show a side view of a bridge with the main upper and lower structural elements drawn as a bold outline and instead of the standard X bracing filling the side space, It can be filled with a repeating design of bicycles. The triangular elements of the bike frames are integrated into the girder and carry the web loads preventing buckling and racking in the usual way. This provides a visually interesting design feature and makes a statement at the same time.

    Sketch # 2 shows a similar approach with a different theme. Sketching out a traffic jam seen from the side, metal structure shaped like the outilnes of cars and trucks to creates a screen of verticals and diagonals with the lower portion a mass of circular shapes like wheels.
    In engineering the bridge these design elements would be employed to carry the vertical and diagonal loads of a box truss as well as providing a railing/grillwork in the form of the intersecting circular wheel shapes.
    Seen from a distance, the design is clearly showing the traffic as frozen in place while bicycles and pedestrians move freely across. To emphasize this I would add lights like traffic lights that change periodically from red to yellow to green while the cars and trucks remain fixed. The moving elements in the scene are the real people and cyclists that pass through within the bridge.
    Seen on end by the people using the bridge, the or bike traffic theme disappears. The users see only the shape of the opening and clear path to their destination on the other side. The profile of the tube truss should be defined by the shape of the crosswise arches above them and a shape serene and uplifting as well as open to as much sky as possible would be best. This should give a feeling of reverence to the space as they cycle through.
    This design theme also suggests that some of the spaces defined as the outlines of trucks could be used as actual advertizing space. The overall design theme still carries across regardless of what is placed on what would be the side of a big truck.
    The bridge should have dedicated traffic lanes for cyclists down the middle and leave the edges for pedestrians so that they can move closer to the side railings and view the railway activity and it’s surroundings.
    The box truss design is a relatively inexpensive type of bridge and well understood by the engineering community. I believe that building in this design theme would not add greatly to the cost of the bridge while allowing it to be built elsewhere and installed quiclkly. Railway traffic would not need to be interrupted for long. I would see a need for a central support at the location suggested on the maps.

    IMAGES
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    UPDATED MAY 28/09

    Designer's notes: I'm sending this new view of the model I drew in sketchup to show what it would be like to be in the bridge. It is a requirement that the bridge have enclosure to it. I have only drawn the structure. The infill could be mesh or glass. Those sort of details could be decided by the engineering team.
    [​IMG]

    Designer's notes:
    Below are 3 images that illustrate the way I would handle the entrance ramp. Since there is very little space beside the Front Street at Portland, I would make a circularly swelled area that ramps slightly out into the road to eliminate the curb there. The other side of this circular area could cantelever out over the wall as much as was possible.
    A raised a platform at the bridge entrance high enough( 14 ft) that trucks could safely drive under it would allow cyclists to make the turn off the bridge without stopping. For the sake of simplicity I have not drawn railings on these ramp areas and the scale of the bridge is not right but it should show the concept.
    Speaking of concepts, I really prefer my other design of the sides being made of a graphic of trucks and cars stuck in gridlock, but it's way too hard to draw for a no-prize idea bank. This and your IMAGINATION will have to do.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
    #1

  2. khristopher

    khristopher Senior Member

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    I could imagine that with lots of stained glass. Many different colours. It would actually look very cool I think.
    I would like to mention, that I'd be disappointed to see ads on the bridge, considering how many ads are on billboards all around this area.
     
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  3. martincan

    martincan New Member

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    Ad Space is not mandatory

    Hi, Thanks for your comment. I also wish there were not ad's slapped on every surface possible creating so much visual clutter.... but there are.
    I think my concept can swallow them and still present the visual of "stuck traffic/free pedestrians".
     
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  4. Long Island Mike

    Long Island Mike Senior Member

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    Martin Cooper's design: Too cluttered perhaps?

    3D: This design is interesting but to me it is too cluttered on its sides blocking off at least part of the view of the rail tracks below-I feel that a bridge placed in this vicinity be railfan or trainspotter-friendly herein. Perhaps crossing a roadway for example entering the CNE grounds this would be good but NOT here...LI MIKE
     
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  5. martincan

    martincan New Member

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    Hi 3D
    as a kid my dad would take me to the bathurst street bridge to see the "puffers". I thin i need to spend more time on a drawing to show my ideas better. Wyliepoon has access to some great software and knows how it works. I have Sketchup..... and vellum.
     
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  6. TKTKTK

    TKTKTK Senior Member

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    Love the gesture, but the fact that it's a pedestrian bridge makes transportation themed trusses seem a bit mish-mash.

    The cycle-truss mock-up is simple enough that I'm surprised we haven't seen it before, it's really quite nice :)
     
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  7. martincan

    martincan New Member

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    Yay!

    Thanks for your response. I have had very few comments about my ideas and I think I need to draw them better.
    The transportation mish-mash IS the point. The actual people walking through the bridge and cycles are the only thing that move. It's a bit of conceptual art.

    I'm glad the you like the simplicity of the bike frame design. It would work effectively from and engineering point of view.
    I'll have another bash at making a good graphic.
     
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  8. TylerBrown

    TylerBrown New Member

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    Cool idea

    I'm a huge bike fan but your design seems too predictable. Looks to me like the bike frames could simply be welded on to any bridge.

    I'd love to see the bicycles as an interesting expression of the structure rather than an arbitrary add-on. The idea is good but the I've seen it before.

    Actually, just last weekend I saw a local bike shop with a series of bike frames welded together to form the security bars for the store front.

    I like the design but not for a landmark bridge.
     
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  9. TylerBrown

    TylerBrown New Member

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    Sorry, misread something. Looks like you are using the frames as structure. Cool but maybe too literal.

    Is it possible to make the bikes less obvious at first glance while making the design more elegant?
     
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  10. urbandreamer

    urbandreamer recession proof

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    Dumb idea for a bridge, but your motif would be brilliant for an extended bike parking lot, say along the waterfront, K-market, or the UofT. (Eliminate the horizontal bars, and you have a great-looking bike parking solution. Could be mass-produced.:))
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
    #10
  11. martincan

    martincan New Member

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    Dumb means non-speaking. As you didn't speak about why it was a "dumb" It seems to me turnabout would be fair play here.
     
    #11
  12. urbandreamer

    urbandreamer recession proof

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    Okay, if the bridge was to be used for cyclists only, it's an okay idea. I think it would work best as a bike storage area/parking lot. As a bridge, it's tacky. The bridge is to be used by all of Torontonians, not just cyclists.
     
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  13. martincan

    martincan New Member

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    Fair enough.

    The other design I sketched for the modified truss showing trucks and cars stuck in gridlock while the actual people and bikes move through the bridge. It's shown just below the text. It was way too hard to draw though so for the sake of getting a 3D rendering together I worked with the bike concept. I suspect you won't like that one either.
    M
     
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  14. urbandreamer

    urbandreamer recession proof

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    I love cars and trucks and things that go!

    Once again, wrong solution to this specific site, but in Oshawa, or Alliston (auto manufacturing towns), or along the Gardiner: brilliant!

    How about take those orange ppl cutouts from #10 submission, stitch them together, twist them and bend them, and use that as the bridge motif, with your bicycles?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    #14

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