STEEL HELIX

Stroll through the steel spiral

That the bridge can collapse any time soon is the second thought that always goes through my mind. Feeling duped after discovering that the Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t gold but something rust-like two+ decades ago is the first thought.  Bridges and I have a distant relationship. Singing “London Bridge is Falling Down” was as far as I went in terms of admiring the architecture of a bridge – taller people made beautiful and graceful arches that you could go under unlike their height-challenged counterparts. Walking on a bridge isn’t also something I relished to do until a gal-pal pointed out the new swirling metal framework in the horizon as we waited for the light to turn green so we could cross over to the new Youth Olympic Park from the Singapore Flyer. It was the easiest way for us to get to Marina Bay Sands, we concurred, after failing to locate the boarding point of the free shuttle bus to the integrated resort.

Put away the umbrella and trust in the canopies.

The Helix Bridge is a wide pedestrian bridge linking Marina Center with Marina South in the Marina Bay area. It welcomed human traffic last April 24 and the word is that its grand opening (read: official) will happen together with the opening of yet another Singapore landmark, the Youth Olympic Park. I didn’t get to see and experience the computer-controlled lightning system that creates a special ambience because it was a blazing Sunday afternoon in early July when I stepped on the bridge. I was grateful to the designers – Australian firms Cox Group and Arup, and Singapore-based Architects 61 – for building the canopies of fritted-glass and steel mesh.  It blocked the harsh rays of the sun, making the stroll on the bridge enjoyable.

Inspecting the structure up close, I was completely floored by how the intertwining steel simulated the intricate structure of the DNA. It’s really a celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind to replicate and transmogrify something into an artistically functional structure.  The view of the helicoidal structure from the Sky Park – located on the 56th floor of Marina Bay Sands – is absolutely mesmerizing. It is truly a feat to erect a structure of steel weighing 1, 700 tons and spanning 280 meters.

It's a site to behold from the Sky Park.

The bridge isn’t fully open as  our stroll to the end of the bridge was not to the end, but to a wooden wall painted with people peeping through the holes and at the side to the link  I’m assuming is to a future museum, said my friend.

It’s a pity that the bridge can’t stand alone against the Singapore landscape as it’s near the bridges Benjamin Sheares and Bayfront.  The impact would have been visually jaw-dropping and the scenery more picturesque.

Photography by Fistri Abdul Rahim

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Fistri on July 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    totally agree with you on that last statement but then again with the limited space in Singapore, i guess we just want to cramp everything and everyone anywhere 😦

    Reply

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