10 Cool Bridges from Around the World

1. The Moses Bridge, Netherlands

Designed by architecture group RO & AD, The Moses Bridge is constructed out of Accoya wood, a hi-tech wood that is supposedly harder and more durable than some of the best tropical woods. It is treated with a nontoxic anti-fungal coating to maintain its split-the-water functionality.


2. Da Vinci Bridge, Norway

A bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci to span the Golden Horn in Istanbul has been built some 500 years later! Wild, right? The bridge now spans a motorway in the less exotic setting of Aas, a small town 20 miles north of Oslo, Norway. However, it is the first major civil engineering project to be built from da Vinci's drawings. Da Vinci first sketched the bridge for Sultan Bajazet II, but none of the Sultan’s engineers thought it could be done!

3. Henderson Waves, Singapore


This nearly 900-foot pedestrian bridge is the highest of its kind in Singapore, connecting two parks. The bridge has a wave-form made up of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. The curved ribs form alcoves that function as shelters with seats within.

4. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, England


The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is sometimes referred to as the 'Blinking Eye Bridge' or the 'Winking Eye Bridge' due to its shape and its tilting method. It’s a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne in England. Definitely one I need to check out ASAP. Such fun!

5. Rolling Bridge, England


This 39-foot timber and steel bridge was built in 2004 to act as a walkway over a small section of London's Grand Union Canal. An innovative hydraulic system in the bridge's handrail allows it to retract and curl into an octagon, which it does every Friday at noon.

6. Slauerhoffbrug, Netherlands

The Slauerhoffbrug, located in Leeuwarden, was designed by Van Driel Mechatronica and is a fully automatic bridge with the ability to sense and adapt to its surroundings. It’s very Terminator-like in its ability to quickly sense and transform to the position needed, allowing ships to pass. You definitely don't want to get on this bridge's bad side! :-)

7. The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge , Brazil


Architect Alexandre Chan and structural engineer Mario Vila Verde, both from Rio de Janeiro, entered the idea of this bridge into a competition aiming to solve the problem of closing the gap between commuters and their homes. According to Chan, the idea was “to create a landmark for the enjoyment of the community as much as to simply traverse a body of water.”

8. The Millau Viaduct, France

Designed by French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, the Millau Viaduct is the 12th highest bridge in the world, at 890 ft above the road deck.

9. Pythonbrug, Amsterdam

If you’re wondering why you don’t see such works of art stateside, that’s because such a design wouldn't pass muster under the Americans With Disabilities Act, which sets a 5 percent limit on the grade of such structures. Well that, and maybe we don’t have the guts to build such a forward thinking structure? Yes, that’s a challenge folks!

10. Oresund Bridge, Sweden

The Oresund Bridge crosses the Oresund strait and joins Sweden with Denmark. It begins as a cable-stayed bridge in Sweden and ends as a tunnel in Denmark. A small artificial island was built around the tunnel's entrance to keep water from creeping in.

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Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Silja Lena Løken / Statens vegvesen
Norway Opens Another Spectacular Roadside Bathroom
Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Silja Lena Løken / Statens vegvesen
Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Silja Lena Løken / Statens vegvesen

Norway’s National Tourist Routes will change how you think about rest stops. As part of a decades-long program, the Norwegian government has been hiring architects and designers to create beautiful roadside lookouts, bathrooms, and other amenities for travelers along 18 scenic highways throughout the country. One of the latest of the projects unveiled, spotted by Dezeen, is a glitzy restroom located on the Arctic island of Andøya in northern Norway.

The facility, designed by the Oslo-based Morfeus Arkitekter, is located near a rock formation called Bukkekjerka, once used as a sacrificial site by the indigenous Sami people. The angular concrete and steel structure is designed to fit in with the jagged mountains that surround it.

The mirrored exterior wall of the bathroom serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, it reflects the scenery around the building, helping it blend into the landscape. But it also has a hidden feature. It’s a one-way mirror, allowing those inside the restroom to have a private view out over the ocean or back into the mountains while they pee.

The newly landscaped rest area near the bathroom will serve as an event space in the future. The Bukkekjerka site is already home to an annual open-air church service, and with the new construction, the space will also be used for weddings and other events. Because this is the Arctic Circle, though, the restroom is only open in the late spring and summer, closing from October to May. Check it out in the photos below.

A bathroom nestled in a hilly landscape
Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Hugo Fagermo / Statens vegvesen

The mirrored facade of a rest stop reflects concrete steps leading down a pathway.
Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Hugo Fagermo / Statens vegvesen

A person stands outside the bathroom's reflective wall.
Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Hugo Fagermo / Statens vegvesen

A wide view of a rest stop at the base of a coastal mountain
Morfeus Arkitekter. Photo: Trine Kanter Zerwekh / Statens vegvesen

[h/t Dezeen]

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Snøhetta
Norway's New Hotel in the Arctic Circle Will Produce More Energy Than It Uses
Snøhetta
Snøhetta

A new hotel coming to Norway’s section of the Arctic Circle will be more than just a place to stay for a stunning fjord view. The Svart hotel, which is being billed as the world’s first "energy-positive" hotel, is designed to “set a new standard in sustainable travel,” according to Robb Report.

Built by a tourism company called Arctic Adventure Norway and designed by Snøhetta, an international architecture firm headquartered in Oslo, it’s one of the first buildings created according to the standards of Powerhouse, a coalition of firms (including Snøhetta) devoted to putting up buildings that will produce more power over the course of 60 years than they take to build, run, and eventually demolish. It will be located on a fjord at the base of Svartisen, one of the largest glaciers on Norway’s mainland and part of Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park.

A hotel stretches out above the water of a fjord.
Snøhetta

The design of the hotel is geared toward making the facility as energy-efficient as possible. The architects mapped how the Sun shines through the mountains throughout the year to come up with the circular structure. When the Sun is high in the winter, the terraces outside the rooms provide shadows that reduce the need for air conditioning, while the windows are angled to catch the low winter Sun, keeping the building warm during cold Arctic winters. In total, it is expected to use 85 percent less energy than a traditional hotel.

The sun reflects off the roof of a hotel at the base of a glacier on a sunny day.
Snøhetta

Svart will also produce its own energy through rooftop solar panels, though it won’t have excess energy on hand year-round. Since it’s located in the Arctic Circle, the hotel will have an abundance of sunlight during the summer, at which point it will sell its excess energy to the local electricity grid. In the winter, when it’s too dark for solar energy production, the hotel will buy energy back from the grid. Over the course of the year, it will still produce more energy than it uses, and over time, it will eventually produce enough excess energy to offset the energy that was used to build the structure (including the creation of the building materials).

“Building in such a precious environment comes with some clear obligations in terms of preserving the natural beauty and the fauna and flora of the site,” Snøhetta co-founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen explains in the firm’s description of the design. “Building an energy-positive and low-impact hotel is an essential factor to create a sustainable tourist destination respecting the unique features” of the area.

Svart is set to open in 2021.

[h/t Robb Report]

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