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vendredi 23 août 2013

10 Fascinating Skybridges

Skybridge is a type of pedway consisting of an enclosed or covered bridge between two buildings. This protects pedestrians from the weather. However, with the development of architecture and construction in the past few decades, the look and purpose of the sky bridges are to some extent changed. So today we can see that in addition to the basic functions it perform, these unusual constructions serve, also, as a observation platforms, luxury hospitality facilities,works of art...

1. Marina Bay Sands Skybridge, Singapore


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Marina Bay Sands features three 55-story hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare (2.5 acres) skybridge on the roof, namedSands SkyPark.


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The SkyPark is home to the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 146-metre (478 ft) vanishing edge, perched 191 metres (626ft) above the ground. The pools are made up of 422,000 pounds of stainless steel and can hold 376,500 gallons (1424 cubic metres) of water.


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The SkyPark also boasts rooftop restaurants, The Club facilities, lush gardens, hundreds of trees and plants, and a public observatory deck on the cantilever with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline.


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There are four movement joints beneath the main pools, designed to help them withstand the natural motion of the towers, and each joint has a unique range of motion. The total range of motion is 500 millimetres (19.68 inches).


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In addition to wind, the hotel towers are also subject to settlement in the earth over time, so engineers built and installed custom jack legs to allow for future adjustment at more than 500 points beneath the pool system. This jacking system is important primarily to ensure the infinity edge of the pool continues to function properly. [link, map]

2. Skybridges of Bahrain World Trade Center, Bahrain


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The Bahrain World Trade Center (also called Bahrain WTC or BWTC) is a 240-metre-high (787 ft), 50-floor, twin tower complex located in Manama, Bahrain.


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The two towers are linked via three skybridges, each holding a 225kW wind turbine, totalling to 675kW of wind power capacity. Each of these turbines measure 29 m (95 ft) in diameter, and is aligned north, which is the direction from which air from the Persian Gulf blows in. The sail-shaped buildings on either side are designed to funnel wind through the gap to provide accelerated wind passing through the turbines.


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This was confirmed by wind tunnel tests, which showed that the buildings create an S-shaped flow, ensuring that any wind coming within a 45° angle to either side of the central axis will create a wind stream that remains perpendicular to the turbines. This significantly increases their potential to generate electricity.


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The wind turbines are expected to provide 11% to 15% of the towers' total power consumption, or approximately 1.1 to 1.3 GWh a year. This is equivalent to providing the lighting for about 300 homes. The three turbines were turned on for the first time on 8 April 2008. They are expected to operate 50% of the time on an average day. [link, map]

3. Skybridges of Linked Hybrid, China


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The 220,000 square-meter (54.5 acres) Linked Hybrid complex includes eight towers linked by a ring of eight sky bridges housing a variety of public functions. The complex is located adjacent to the former city perimeter of Beijing.


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To counter current urban development trends in China, the complex forms a new twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side.


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In addition to more than 750 apartments, the complex includes public, commercial, and recreational facilities as well as a hotel and school.


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With sitelines around, over, and through multifaceted spatial layers, this “city within a city” has as one of its central aims the concept of public space within an urban environment, and can support all the activities and programs for the daily lives of over 2500 inhabitants. [link, map]

4. Bridge of Aspirations, UK


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Twisting high above Floral Street in London, the Bridge of Aspiration provides the dancers of the Royal Ballet School with a direct link to the Grade 1 listed Royal Opera House. The award-winning design addresses a series of complex contextual issues, and is legible both as a fully integrated component of the buildings it links, and as an independent architectural element.


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The skewed alignment and different levels of the landing points dictate the form of the crossing, which is geometrically and structurally simple. A concertina of 23 square portals with glazed intervals are supported from an aluminium spine beam.


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These rotate in sequence for the skew in alignment, performing a quarter-turn overall along the length of the bridge. The result is an elegant intervention high above the street, which evokes the fluidity and grace of dance. [link, map]

5. Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge, Malaysia


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The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds.


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It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m (558 ft) above the ground and 58 m (190 ft) long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here.


The skybridge is illuminated on the underside by the rising sun. link

The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas.


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Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.


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There is a three-hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres (167 ft) long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them in order to counterbalance any effect from the wind. [link, map]

6. Kingdom Centre Skybridge, Saudi Arabia


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Kingdom Centre is a 99-storey, 302.3 m (992 ft) skyscraper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the second tallest skyscraper in the country, and the world's third tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center and Tuntex Sky Tower.


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Extending 65 meters (213ft) in length, the SkyBridge which is a steel structure weighting about 300 tons sits on top of the 300 meter (985ft) height tower, rising 918 meter (3,010ft) above sea level and overlooking the whole of Riyadh, its unique position gave it the advantage of being one of the most important attraction point for tourism in KSA.


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The trip to the SkyBridge passes through two elevators, first elevator will take about 50 seconds to reach the height of 180 meter (590ft) to the Transfer level, and second elevator will take less than 40 seconds to reach its final destination the Sky Bridge. [link1, link2, map]

7. Davenport Skybridge, USA


Davenport Skybridge during the flooding of the Mississippi River link

The Davenport Skybridge is a pedestrian cable-stayed bridge that spans River Drive (Highway 67) in downtown Davenport, Iowa. It connects LeClaire Park to a courtyard and parking ramp on 2nd Street, located right next to the River Music Experience. The bridge is 50 feet (15.5m) tall and 575 feet (175m) long, and was completed in 2005. It was designed by Holabird & Root and Neumann Monson, P.C.


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At the south end, facing the river, is an observation deck with a view of the Mississippi River, LeClaire Park Bandshell, the Centennial Bridge, and the Davenport Levee, where many festivals take place throughout the warmer months.


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The inside of the Skybridge contains kaleidoscope lighting. The lighting consists of 228 LED fixtures and 8,036 individual lights. The LEDs are capable of displaying various patterns. The lighting color and patterns can be adjusted for events occurring in the area, such as a red, white, and blue color scheme for the 4th of July; red and green for Christmas; and various other patterns.


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The Skybridge was a component of the Riverfront/Downtown Davenport improvement program, River Renaissance. The total cost of the structure was $7 million. The bridge's stated purpose is to serve as a tourism attraction with a unique vantage point of the Mississippi River, while also functioning as a safe way to cross the highway. [link, map]

8. Enron Skybridge, USA


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This skybridge is located in Smith Street in Downtown Houston - the largest business district of Houston, Texas.


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Unique circular skybridge interconnects 1,300-car parking garage with Enron Center North and 1500 Louisiana Street. Just above the skybridge is the rotating restaurant on top of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Houston. [map]

9. Peachtree Center Skybridges, USA


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Peachtree Center is a neighborhood located in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Most of the structures that make up the district were designed by Atlanta architect John C. Portman, Jr.


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A defining feature of the Peachtree Center is a network of enclosed pedestrian sky bridges suspended above the street-level, which have garnered criticism for discouraging pedestrian street life. [link, map]

10. Bridge of Sighs, Italy


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The Bridge of Sighs is a skybridge located in Venice, northern Italy. The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. It was designed by Antoni Contino (whose uncle Antonio da Ponte had designed the Rialto Bridge), and was built in 1602.


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The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge name, given by Lord Byron in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. [link, map]

Bonus 1: Circular Pedestrian Bridge in Lujiazui, China


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In 2011 year, a new pedestrian bridge was unveiled in Lujiazui in the Pudong district ofShanghai. This large scale circular pedestrian overpass enables pedestrians to avoid traffic at the round-about terminus of Lujiazui Rd.


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The bridge provides access to the Oriental Pearl Tower connecting financiers to leisure areas such as shopping malls and cafes, a transit station and office buildings. The bridge sits almost 20 feet (6m) above the street, with numerous escalator stairway entrances and exits.


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The very contemporary design and long spans between columns provides a pleasant street level experience. Visitors enjoy the walkway for its privileged views of the city as well as its introduction of clean and easy foot transportation. At night the structure is illuminated to great dramatic effect.


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The walkway can fit 15 people walking side by side. Since it’s opening, it has become quite a tourist attraction. [link]

Bonus 2: Swimmable Skybridge Project, Singapore


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Swimmable Skybridge will be built on top of Sky Habitat - two towers that yet to be built. Singapore's latest skyscraper to have infinity pool 38 storeys above ground between two towers. Swimmers braving a length of this pool will need a real head for heights - seeing as it's a staggering 38 storeys high.


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The infinity pool will dramatically connect Sky Habitat Singapore's two towers once the ambitious project is completed in 2016. With 509 apartments, the Moshe Safdie-designed development in the central island suburb of Bishan will offer residents stunning vistas across the area. [link]

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