The Helix Bridge is located in the Marina Bay area in Singapore and links the Marina center with Marina South. The pedestrian bridge helps complete the circulation around Marina Bay, accompanied by the vehicular Benjamin Sheares Bridge.
The original concept featured an arc-curved bridge. However, the project faced several challenges and evolved differently. The end result had to be very light and delicate so that it would contrast with the heavy, vehicular bridge. The structure suitable for the task turned out to take the shape of opposing double,stainless steel helices, inspired by the structure of the DNA. This type of structure enabled the designers to work easily and effectively in curvilinear plans and to provide shelter for the pedestrians in a sensitive manner: glass panels and perforated steel. The bridge has another distinctive feature to present; four viewing platforms placed carefully in different strategic locations which offer amazing views of the Marina Bay and the Singapore skyline.
At night, the Helix Bridge offers spectacular views provided by a series of LED lights that accentuate the movement and dynamics of the structure. The entire structure measures 280 m in length, divided in 65 m spans and two 45 m spans at the ends. The outer helix is formed from six tubes (273 mm in diameter) which are set at even distances from one another. The inner helix consists of five tubes, also 273 mm in diameter.
“The Helix is truly an engineering marvel. While the structure is incredibly delicate and intricate, it’s been engineered to support more than 10,000 people at a time. The Helix is the first example of this structural solution applied to a bridge – there is nothing else like it.”
Bridges represent most of the times the perefect task for an engineer, not an architect. But when architects do take part in the design of such a structure, the outcome can be quite amazing. I really liked the innovation the designer have proven by making their bridge unique and the design challenging, using a helix like structure.
Architects: Cox Architecture + Architects 61
Location: The Helix at Raffles Avenue and Bayfront Bridge, Singapore
Project Year: 2010
Cost at completion of construction: SGD$82,900,000
Project Area: 1379.08 sqm
Project Team: Philip Cox, Michael Rayner, Hang Chung Ling, Spyros Barberis, Lynn Heng, Michael Ngu, Siti Suriah Taib, Sunita Menon.
Consultant Team: Arup – Structural consultant, Arup – Civil consultant, Arup – Mechanical consultant, Arup – Electrical consultant, Arup – Lighting consultant, Tierra Design – Landscape consultant, Davis Langdon Seah – Cost Consultant.
Construction Team: Sato Kogyo (S) Pte Ltd – Builder
Photographs: Christopher Frederick Jones, Angus Martin