Mikael Colville-Andersen takes the NEP Bridge competition to the woodshed:
What is up with these squiggles?! It’s perfectly fine to think out of the box. Not much gets accomplished if you don’t. But there is a clear, and perhaps, disturbing trend which I have hereby dubbed Squiggletecture. There is an alarming number of renderings that have discarded straight lines.
What is a bridge? Isn’t it just a vital mobility link from one side of a body of water to another? Isn’t that really the baseline for every decent bridge in history? Look at a map of Paris or any other city with bridges. They are straight. From one shore to the other. Providing no-nonsense A to B for the people using it. Only then do differences in design and aesthetics come into play.
Look at the selection of designs, above. A2Bism had a cement block chained to its feet and it was thrown into the river. It’s sleeping with the fishes.
I’ve long been a skeptic of modern architectural design. Every time an architect starts thinking outside the box, I tremble in fear. Some of these bridge designs are so unbelievably awful that they even cross the line into technical incompetence:
The ramps. Seriously. Look at all those squiggletecture ramps. Round and round we go, slowly descending to the river bank like a flower petal on a summer breeze. Not exactly what any human in a city wants, now is it? Then look at some of those sharp turns on the bicycle ramps. Best Practice for grade and curves on bicycle infrastructure has been around for almost a century. Would it have hurt to spend a little while on Google? Or on a bicycle? Unbelievable.