Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers' Health and Safety Panel
1st June 2017
First published: 1st June 2017
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The Institution of Structural Engineers' Health and Safety Panel
All structural fabrics degrade and their design lives are usually qualified via expressions such as ‘life to first maintenance’. Anticipating this, heavily exposed structures, such as bridges over water, may be provided with purpose-built access gantries from the outset of operation.
The Helix is a 280m pedestrian bridge in Singapore connecting the promenade at Bayfront and the Marina promenade. It forms part of a 3.5km waterfront promenade that loops around Marina Bay. Built using duplex stainless steel, the bridge has a unique curved helical geometry which consists of two intertwining helices that spiral in opposite directions. It was designed by a team comprising global consulting engineers Arup, and architects from the Australian Cox Group and Singapore-based Architects 61.
Due to its location in the centre of Marina Bay, Singapore’s new downtown area, there are many possible usage scenarios for the Helix in addition to its primary function of providing pedestrian access. These include:
a crowd gathering on one side of the bridge to view a firework display; and the bridge acting as a sports or events venue, e.g. for marathons or performances. The complexity of possible loading scenarios also extends to the accidental impact force from vessels in the bay. The Helix’s structurally efficient long-span form, coupled with its long cantilever viewing pods and the possible functioning scenarios, meant that the structure’s dynamics and vibration performance were a major design consideration to ensure user comfort.
All the articles published in the June 2017 issue.
Institution Member Hugh Morrison presents a follow-up to May’s question on forces in a canopy.