Architectural structures in Berlin, Hamburg, Thuringia, the Upper Palatinate, Backnang (near Stuttgart) and Bamberg are among the country’s most beautiful bridges.
For the fifth time, in 2014 the Federal Chamber of Engineers (BIngK) and the Association of Consulting Engineers (VBI) will bestow the prestigious German Bridge Construction Prize. Out of a total of 37 submitted entries, a jury of renowned bridge construction experts nominated three architectural structures from each of the competition categories “Road and Rail Bridges” and “Foot and Bicycle Bridges”, the awarding bodies announced today.
Nominated in the “Road and Rail Bridges” category are:
Elevated railway viaduct of subway line 2 in Berlin city district Prenzlauer Berg
“The overhaul of the 1.7 km long steel viaduct, protected as a historic monument, is a great example of the conservation and renewal of heavily-used, existing architectural structures. When originally built, it was already a masterful urban architectural structure. Now, thanks to superb engineering achievements and innovative methods, it has been possible to make it functionally fit and aesthetically suitable for the 21st century”, the jury found.
Baakenhafen Bridge in Hamburg’s HafenCity district
“The Baakenhafen Bridge is an elegant ‘slow’ bridge, one that invites lingering”, was the jury’s decision. “The 170 m long link between two planned new residential areas has the potential to become an inner-city landmark. The integrated lift-out element is a totally new idea.” The Baakenhafen Bridge is therefore the world’s only ‘minimally moving’ design.
Gänsebachtalbrücke near Buttstädt in Thuringia
“The integral railway bridge for high-speed trains is distinguished by its aesthetic pattern of pillars”, praises the jury. The whole 1,001 m long structure dovetails unobtrusively into the low-lying Gänsebachtal valley. “The result is an extremely favourable steel-reinforced concrete structure – sleek and innovative.”
The nominees in the “Foot and Bicycle Bridges” category are:
Max-Gleissner-Brücke, Tirschenreuth in the Upper Palatinate
“Just like a walk-on wooden sculpture, the stressed ribbon bridge crosses the new 75 m wide city lake. It is difficult to imagine a lighter structural construction; even a layman understands the flow of forces in this bridge. A very special kind of solid wooden construction,” was the jury’s opinion.
Bleichwiesensteg in Backnang near Stuttgart
“The modern steel structure crossing the Murr river is an exceedingly elegant link between a modern residential area and the historic Stiftshof quarter. The openings through which the balustrade cables are routed, in the middle of the steel box girder, impart a sense of lightness and precision.”
Erba footbridge in Bamberg
“The delicacy of the connection of the Erba peninsula to the historic area of Bamberg represents the convincing re-purposing of what was originally a makeshift bridge for construction. This unusual idea for an architectural structure was implemented for two locations as a finely-detailed steel structure – resource-conserving and virtually maintenance-free,” praises the jury.
The German Bridge Construction Prize honours not only the architectural structures themselves, but also the engineers whose work was key to the conception of the victorious bridges. The winners are announced at the award ceremony, but remain a strictly-guarded secret of the jurors until then. The award ceremony for the “German Bridge Construction Prize 2014” will be held on 10 March 2014 in Dresden. Some 1,300 guests are expected by the BIngK and VBI.
The German Federal Ministry for Transport, Construction and Urban Development supports and promotes the prize, and has once again taken the patronage. Deutsche Bahn AG is once more the main sponsor.
Bridges connect – and are an indispensable part of the architectural heritage. The six nominated bridges combine aesthetics and constructive creativity in an exemplary manner. Once again this year, the German Bridge Construction Prize shows the important contribution that engineers make to building culture in Germany.
The prize for honouring outstanding engineering performance was established in 2006 and has been awarded every two years since then.