Hooked on bridges, are ya?

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Well, here’s a treat for you. This collection of 29 “Stunning Bridges From Around the World” has some real beauts, plus a few bummers thrown in to help you appreciate the beauts a little more. The group, from the website BabaMail.com, is entitled by its editor “These Stunning Bridges Are Where Strength Meets Beauty.”

Please let me quarrel just a tad with that. “Where strength meets beauty”? What does that actually mean? Many of the most beautiful bridges hark back to a time when the people who built bridges made them superstrong because they lacked the technological ability to measure precisely how much strength would be enough to keep them from collapsing. Nowadays, bridge engineers can determine that requirement with precision by computer, using the most aerodynamic of calculations. As a result, we can cut corners to save costs with supreme confidence that we are not stinting on necessary strength.

Or so they say. Sometimes bridges collapse anyway and we wish that the engineers had used the old-fashioned way: estimate the strength required, then multiplying it by two or three to make sure we have enough for any contingency. My engineer friends will know what I mean. And my architect friends will guess that I suspect the modernist bridges in this collection may not stack up, redundancy-of-strengthwise.

Still, by far most of these are lovely. Even a couple of the modernist ones are not so bad. Hats off to my wife Victoria for sending these spans to me from Facebook. It’s time for you to enjoy!

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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One Response to Hooked on bridges, are ya?

  1. The Moses Bridge in the Netherlands is so unique! And the little Moon Bridge in San Fran is like an obstacle Parcourse exercise bridge. Lovely – thanks so much for sharing…

    Like

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