The unique circumstances of the Crystal Palace Park Dinosaur Islands and the need for a secure crossing inspired the structural artwork of Swing Bridge. Informed by Tonkin Liu team’s decade-long immersion in biomimetic studies, the project delivers three specific innovations: swinging to access the banks, undulating geometry for structural strength, and the comb construction technique.
The 167-year-old, Grade I Listed concrete Dinosaur sculptures were configured to depict extinct animals in the lost worlds of deep geological time. The team chose the bridge’s location to mark the start of this sequence, helping to tell a story of evolution, which in turn inspiring the reference to the prehistoric bony fish, the precursor to the Dinosaurs and the evolutionary timeline depicted on the islands.
To protect access to the Dinosaur Islands, the bridge has been designed to remain in
the water and only make its connection to land when access is given for education and
for maintenance. This negates the need for a large protective barrier, keeps its distance from the Dinosaurs, and requires only one central foundation. Crystal Palace Park in turn enjoys, when the bridge is not in use, a sculptural artwork floating in water. Form gives strength through geometry in each of the component of the structure.
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