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Kurilpa Bridge

Brisbane, Australia
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The tensegrity cable of the Kurilpa Bridge

The Kurilpa Bridge, originally named the Tank Street Bridge, is a pedestrian and cycling bridge connecting Kurilpa Point to Tank Street in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. In 2011, the bridge was judged the winner of World Transport Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival.

The bridge provides access for the public connecting two central areas of Brisbane - from the central business district to the cultural hub where the Museum of Modern Art is located. The bridge features two large viewing and relaxation platforms, two rest areas, and a continuous all-weather canopy for the entire length of the bridge. The canopy is supported by a secondary tensegrity structure.


Kurilpa Bridge is the world's largest hybrid tensegrity bridge. Only the horizontal spars conform to tensegrity principles, using a multiple-mast, cable-stay structure. The Kurilpa Bridge utilises renowned architect, Richard Buckminster Fuller's principle of tensegrity producing a synergy between balanced tension and compression components to create a light structure that is incredibly strong.

Kurilpa Bridge is the world's largest hybrid tensegrity bridge. Only the horizontal spars conform to tensegrity principles. The Kurilpa Bridge is a multiple-mast, cable-stay structure.

The bridge structure comprises 18 structural steel bridge decks, 20 structural steel masts and 16 horizontal spars or 'horizontal masts'. 72 precast concrete deck slabs sit on the main bridge deck and are secured to the steel structure and together by in-situ concrete stitch pours. The complex cabling system comprises 80 main galvanised helical strand cables and 252 tensegrity cables that are made from superduplex stainless steel. The piecing together of these elements was the highest risk on the project, where any error in the dimension of one of the elements would have halted the critical path of the project. It is a huge testament to all in involved in the design and in particular the construction of the superstructure that it was achieved to within 13mm of its planned vertical position in its final state at the centre of the bridge.

The bridge is lit with a sophisticated LED lighting system which can be programmed to produce an array of different lighting effects. Depending on lighting configurations, 75%-100% of the power required is provided by solar energy.

World Architecture Awards Statement

"The bridge appears to 'float' over the river. The structural elements seem to be abstractly suspended in the air making the bridge very different, functional, unique and sculptural."

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  1. World Architecture News
  2. Brisbane Times
  3. Wikipedia
aleeshacallahan, July 18th, 2013
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