American Institute of Architecture Brooklyn + Queens 2016 Design Award of Excellence Winner
The Tensegrity Bridge entry for the Salford Meadows Bridge Competition seeks to provide a needed link between Salford Meadows and the surrounding community, while simultaneously promoting an efficient and functional structure and celebrating the future potentials of Manchester. With a nod to the rich industrial past of the local community, the innovative tensegrity structure proposed reinforces the dynamic nature of the nearby Engineering Faculty of the University of Salford and develops a catalyst for encouraging future growth. The importance of the local community demands a world-class structure as a response to the development of the city.
Tensegrity is an advanced structural concept that looks to the future in an innovative system never-before-explored in bridge form in Europe, where a continuous network of efficient axially loaded high-tension cables are configured with isolated structural compression members in such a way as to delineate the system spatially and provide a highly efficient, dynamic and exciting form. Tensegrity has been discovered as the structural composition of many natural biomechanical systems, such as the relationship between muscles, bones and tendons in the human body. In constructed form, tensegrity is a relatively new invention, first developed only 50 years ago by Buckminster Fuller and Kenneth Snelson.