The need for sustainable design, engineering and fabrication strategies for concrete construction is recognised as a key challenge in the building industry. Using principles of structural geometry and material effectiveness in design makes it possible to significantly reduce the amount of material used in a structure and its embodied emissions.
This project presents the design, engineering and digital fabrication strategies for a circular pedestrian bridge to be built as part of “De Groene Boog” development of the A16 highway north of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The bridge is designed as a lightweight funicular concrete shell based on the principle of a three-hinge arch extrapolated to 3D geometry. In its realisation, it demonstrates a model of circular construction using novel material developments (such as recycled concrete) and an efficient flexible formwork system. A hybrid spline-supported 3D-knitted textile made of recycled and natural fibres that is easy and fast to assemble will be the formwork to cast the complex structural geometry needing minimal scaffolding. An in-house developed computational pipeline, based on the open-source COMPAS framework, enables the efficient design, collaborative exchange and streamlined fabrication of the bridge.
Lage Bergse Bos, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Structural Design and Engineering
Block Research Group, ETH Zurich: Sam Bouten, Mariana Popescu, Tom Van Mele, Philippe Block
Engineer of record and foundations
BESIX Engineering / De Groene Boog: Kenneth Wyns, Pierre Mengeot, Michiel Dhont
Formwork innovation and fabrication
Block Research Group, ETH Zurich: Mariana Popescu, Sam Bouten, Tom Van Mele, Philippe Block
De Groene Boog