Friday, November 12, 2010

Infinity Bridge, Stockton, England

Infinity Bridge in Stockton, England cuts an uncommon silhouette across the River Tees. It is a 230m long concrete structure supported by a pair of asymmetric steel arches that appear to skip across the river like a pebble skimming water.
The lighting is made  in such a way that the iconic twin arches reflect in the water at night to form the mathematical symbol for infinity.
The designers bounced blue light off the water to light the underbelly of the deck and form a blue zone above the water. Cold white light was used to reveal the structural form and create the sense of a floating wave hovering just above the deck..
Along the surface of the deck, light is responding to the presence of people, guiding them down the walkway or signaling  the approach of visitors. There are blue and white LED units concealed under the handrail. When people cross the bridge, the sensors trigger a change from blue to white, leaving a ‘comet’s trail’ of light in the pedestrians’ wake.
No other bridge is known to have quite the same design. Competing in the awards for Structural Engineering Excellence against over 100 global entries, the Infinity Bridge went on to win the overall Supreme Award.

Design: Expedition Engineering
Lighting design: Speirs and Major Associates
Photography: James Newton
Speirs and Major Associates is a UK-based design practice that uses light to enhance the experience of the visual environment. Their work is wide-ranging in terms of type and scale and includes architecture, strategic projects and innovative product design. Completed architectural projects include Barajas International Airport, the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi, the Sackler Crossing at Kew, Copenhagen Opera House and the interior of St. Pauls Cathedral, London. They have also developed strategic lighting master plans for several cities and developments including Cambridge, Coventry, Durham, Al Raha, Abu Dhabi and Burj Dubai. The practice has been credited with helping to raise awareness of the lighting design profession globally. Today it employs 30 people drawn from disciplines including architecture, art, lighting, interior, graphics and theatre.

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