Beautiful Biomimicry – The Dino Bridge

Our client, in conjunction with architects and structural engineers, was hired to develop a bridge for the Crystal Palace Dinosaur Park which would improve access to the heritage island for maintenance and educational purposes. The dinosaurs, built in 1854, are set in landscapes that attempt to reflect 400 million years of geologic time, and presented in the world’s first ‘edutainment’ park.

Inspired by the natural world and influenced by the context and purpose of the park, our client took principles of strength from nature while also ensuring a delicate and lightweight feel. The design was inspired by the skeletal structures of fish that dominated the prehistoric seas to reflect their emergence from the water. It features a ‘linear spine’ that supports a steel plate, from which a series of ‘ribs’ are folded which support the bridge deck and the handrail. The bridge moves like a living animal, rotating into its active or inactive position, and features specially shaped organic and curved components that provide structural support and stability.

The project was a truly unique scheme that pushed the boundaries of materials and fabrication, creating a thoughtful and appropriate design that met the end client’s budget and was relevant to the surrounding context. The bridge was installed in January 2021 and has won a number of awards and commendations for its innovation, engineering, and material use.

Jess Grief

Beautiful Biomimicry – The Dino Bridge

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