2010: A DNA-Themed Pedestrian Bridge in Singapore is Officially Dedicated

April 24, 2010

A unique type of pedestrian bridge was officially dedicated in southern Singapore. The Double Helix Bridge (now called just the Helix Bridge), which spans Marina Bay, serves as a major link between Marina South peninsula and — within Singapore’s economic center known as Downtown Core — Marina Centre. 

The Helix Bridge was jointly designed by an international team consisting of the Australian firm Cox Group; the British company Arup Group Limited; and the Singapore-based Architects 61. This team was selected by the Urban Development Authority of Singapore from a field of 36 bids.  

The 918.6-foot (280-meter)-long bridge owes its name and appearance to a fundamental component of human existence.  “The new pedestrian bridge represents an entirely new direction in structural design,” explained Arup engineer Tristram Carfrae, who was significantly involved in the project. “Its walkway is encircled by opposing double helix structures that refer to the famous geometrical arrangement of the stuff of life itself — DNA.” 

Those stainless-steel structures on what is Singapore’s longest pedestrian bridge are meant to represent the continuity, renewal, and growth symbolized by DNA. Other distinguishing features of the Helix Bridge include canopies made up of fritted-glass and perforated steel mesh that have been set up along parts of the inner spiral to provide protection against such weather-related inconveniences as heavy rainfall and glaring sunshine. 

In addition, the Helix Bridge contains a total of four viewing platforms so that pedestrians can take in the Singapore skyline. This bridge’s double-helix design is showcased at night with a series of multi-colored lights. 

The dedication ceremonies for the Helix Bridge were characterized by a great deal of fanfare that included fireworks and musical performances. Only half the bridge was opened at the time of its formal debut; the remainder of the bridge was not made available for public use until about three months later.

Photo Credit: William Cho (licensed under the Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the Helix Bridge, please check out https://structurae.net/en/structures/the-helix-bridge

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