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A bridge is a link between two worlds, a point of tension between two separate and often disparate locations. Free, belonging neither to one region or another, the bridge imposes upon the landscape and defies nature. Its existence embodies the will of mankind to construct these necessary bonds between people and places. A symbol of progress and innovation, the bridge, anonymous demonstration of the mastery and the durability of new techniques, is gradually becoming more and more light and fluid, constantly defying stateoftheart technology. As veritable aesthetic creations, bridges appear today not only as examples of masterful engineering, but also as incredible works of art. With its magnificent photographs, this book invites the reader to rediscover these modernday sculptures.



Publié par
Date de parution 31 décembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9781785257261
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 31 Mo

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Baseline Co Ltd. 61A63A Vo Van Tan Street 4th Floor District 3, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
© Parkstone Press International, New York, USA © Confidential Concepts, Worldwide, USA
© Mike Brake | © Francisco Javier Gil Oreja | © Rwaleson |
All modification and reproduction rights reserved internationally. Unless otherwise stated, copyright for all artwork reproductions rests with the photographers who created them. Despite our research efforts, it was impossible to identify authorship rights in some cases. Please address any copyright claims to the publisher.
ISBN: 9781785257261
I. Stone and Brick
II. Wood
III. Metal
IV. Concrete
he urban and rural landscapes of today are marked with many structures that are frequently overlooked ofTsuch structures. Do residents of San Francisco often fall because of their habitual use. Bridges are examples into raptures over the remarkable Golden Gate Bridge, Parisians over the Pont Alexandre III or Londoners over the Tower Bridge? In fact, bridges’ aesthetic qualities and often the impressive technological prowess that contributed to their creation deserve an admiring pause: bridges are in essence dynamic sculptures, inhabiting the landscape, marking society’s development throughout history. These structures made of wood, stone or iron represent the means of physical communication, from railroads to interstate highways, that connect our villages, our cities, our provinces, our countries. Soaring over streams and rivers, overcoming ravines and linking continents, bridges are essential to civilisation and unifying tools for society. These masterpieces of architecture rise above mere utility and become the simultaneous expressions of our history and our future. Was the first bridge perhaps an accident of nature? Most likely a fallen tree landed across the banks of a river, connecting the opposite sides. Before man learned of the advantage of crossing bodies of water without getting wet, animals undoubtedly borrowed this new route.
Imitating this original natural bridge, so rudimentary at first glance, man discovered that it was possible to make the passages more sophisticated, endowing bridges with strength and durability. As civilisations developed and progressed, bridges were constructed with finelyworked wood and stones were used to reinforce their foundations. Earlier than the third millennium B.C.E., frescoes and texts refer to the construction of bridges in association with the names of monarchs, who used the structures as demonstrations of their power and endurance. Two bridges have found permanent places in history: that of Egyptian pharaoh Menes, constructed around 2560 B.C.E. across the Nile, and that of Assyrian Queen Semiramis, built over the River Euphrates several centuries later. With the barbarian invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries C.E., Roman lines were pushed back by marauding groups from the East. Visigoths, Franks, Huns and Vandals surged through the civilised world, leaving ruined cities, roads and bridges in the wake of their violence. Stability was restored to Europe in the 7th century. In the late 8th century, Charlemagne reassembled lands into a unified territory and, feeling the need for rapid movement of troops, began to improve the paths of communication in the heart of Europe. The renovation efforts, while modest,
Suspended Bridge Location: Mustang, Annapurna, Nepal Material: Steel
were put into effect, and soon various construction methods were discovered or rediscovered. The Middle Ages saw marked progress under pressure from merchants who were developing their business enterprises beyond the limits of their hometowns. Bridges were once again in demand, old remnants restored and new bridges appearing at strategic locations over streams and rivers. During the Renaissance, bridges became indispensable to commerce and warring armies throughout Europe. Adding to their utilitarian qualities, bridges were endowed with importance by princes, who wished to impress their contemporaries and demonstrate their prestige by leaving lasting monuments like bridges in their respective cities. Bridges were erected thus in Florence, Venice, Paris and London, often housing shops or residences. The development of tolls as a way of taxing goods or people crossing the waterways further increased the popularity of bridges during the Renaissance. Thanks to the cultural rebirth and scientific innovations of this period, people were able to build longer, more artistically complex bridges. In 1747, under the supervision of Louis XV, France became the first country to establish a specialised school for urban engineering: the École Royale des Ponts et Chaussées. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, construction techniques advanced at an incredible pace with new discoveries. Wood and stone, which had remained the
materials of choice for bridgebuilding, were being replaced by the stronger, more practical substances bronze, iron and steel. Engineers, no longer timid or restrained by technological limitations, spanned every stream and river in the western world with a bridge, permitting, at the same time, the development of railroads. As countries, cities and towns were thus connected by new means of communication and as trains became heavier and longer, further innovations in the construction of bridges became necessary. In addition to improving the technical properties of these passageways, engineers like Gustave Eiffel, with his Garabis viaduct, built in 1882, used metal and its capabilities to raise the aesthetic value of bridges to the level of architectural monuments, testifying to the triumphant 19th century. Furthermore, with Europe’s colonisation of Asia and Africa, the entire world was being transformed into wide streets, bridges and other ingenious roadways. The 20th century was the century of the automobile, large roads and highways, continuing to serve millions of people. The bridges built in modern times are taller, wider and constantly more numerous; nothing seems to stand in the way of engineers, no ravine, stream or river is too deep or wide or wild to be spanned. However, even in the midst of this frenetic industrial pace, many bridges created in the past have today become symbols rather than structures, like the ‘bridge on the River Kwai’, immortal testimonials to our collective history.
Bogdan Khmelnitsky (Kievsky) Pedestrian Bridge Location: Moscow, Russia Crosses: Moskva River Material and type: Arch bridge, two hinged Completed: 2 September 2001
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