Submitted by Margot Karsojevic, here’s futuristic concept suspension footbridge that spans two mountains in Tianmen China. The design simulates that of the surrounding snow-capped mountain landscape. Called Piezoelectric Pendulum Inertia Bridge, it responds to the cloud-edge effect, capturing direct and reflected light that increases solar energy production.
On a cloudy day, the solar panel can still absorb diffused and reflective light, in this way, the bridge can get optimum exposure to sun’s energy. Moreover, the canopy is clad and fabricated with a highly reflective shifting carbon-fiber aluminum composite embedded with photovoltaic and piezoelectric cells.
Pedestrians would enjoy a breath-taking birds-eye aerial view that changes with weather, they can anticipate cloud-breaks and expanding horizon lines. Piezoelectric Pendulum Inertia Bridge by Margot Krasojevic stands at 650-feet above the ground, the design creates an illusion to camouflage it amidst the clouds and environment.
The focus was given to its structure by maintaining static equilibrium balance and counterbalance, as the height, along with the exposure to elements can create an unstable condition for the design. Furthermore, rotational inertia was also one of primary concerns, thus, by integrating swinging cantilevered walkway lengths, it helps to stabilize the structure as well as increase the moment of inertia without making it rigid, just like the experience of a tightrope walker. The bridge moves and sways gently, it is choreographed to respond to the upward air movement and cloud formation. It offers pedestrians not just spectacular view but also exposure to the very nature of the site, which can be intimidating at times.
Two interlaced footpaths are suspended from the structural axes of rotation, which dislocate and shift to re-balance the bridge, thus allowing for a safe crossing. Significantly, the canopy structure fragments in order to re-calibrate the shifting weights, along the bridge’s cross-section, in a more efficient manner. This counterbalance is directed by the bridge’s pendulum weights suspended beneath the structure, which tighten and shift to restore equilibrium and maintain structural stability. Furthermore, the balance is retained and controlled by the cantilevered elements that swing slowly and methodically to reinstate the bridge to a stable horizontal position. Design inspirations in this regard include a collapsible push puppet similar to the suspended pendulums, which when in tension due to the bridge’s natural movements, tighten and restrain the structure, enough to prevent it from revolving around its main frame, by retaining the moment of inertia.
The canopy’s dislocating fragments are clad with a carbon-fiber reinforced aluminum composite, which is lighter than aluminum and flexible enough for the cantilevered movements yet stronger than steel. This helps in limiting wear and tear, in addition to providing stability through 45-degree torsions and adapting to the external forces of the cantilever frames’ movements, whilst accommodating complex shifting shapes.
The shifting canopy elements resemble solar kites embedded with photovoltaic cells; these are lightweight, durable, non-corrosive and highly reflective, thus creating a continuous surface cantilevered from the primary axial structure. Applying semi-conductor piezoelectric crystal cells as a gate voltage to the design, by embedding them within the canopy and walkway, generates electricity through resistance and direct pressure.
Tuvie received “Piezoelectric Pendulum Inertia Bridge” project from our ‘Submit A Design‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their design/concept for publication.