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Our BatchGeo world MAP shows the locations of green architecture, green building and renewable energy projects featured on Solaripedia.

Project

Kurilpa Solar Powered Bridge (Brisbane, Australia)

Credits: ©2009 Yvonne Chan/Business Green

The Australian city of Brisbane has opened what it claims is the world's first large scale solar-powered bridge, built at a cost of US$57.2 million. The 470m Kurilpa Bridge, which accommodates pedestrians and bicycles, opened last week after a two-year construction project and sports 84 solar panels that power up an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The panels supply between 75 and 100 per cent of the bridge's lighting needs, depending on the configuration of the LEDs, which can be programmed to produce a range of effects. On average, the panels produce 100kWh of power a day, yielding an estimated output of 38MWh per year, with surplus electricity fed into the grid. The solar panel system is expected to save about 37.8 tons of carbon emissions annually, according to Brisbane city officials. Designed by Australia's Cox Architects and London-headquartered engineering firm Arup, the footbridge links Brisbane's cultural precinct to the central business district. It is expected to be used by about 36,500 pedestrians and cyclists each week.

 

Kurilpa Bridge

Spanning the Brisbane River, the bridge employs a sophisticated LED lighting scheme that can be programmed to produce an array of different lighting effects, which will become a feature of Brisbane’s annual Riverfire celebrations. The energy-saving lighting system will be powered by 84 solar panels that collectively generate a daily output of about 100KWh and an average yearly output of 38MWh. The solar energy generates supplies 75% of the power required to run the LED setup in the fully lit mode, but in most lighting configurations, 100% of the energy required will come from the solar panels. Surplus electricity generated by the solar array will be returned to the main grid. ©2009 Cox Architects

The earliest concept of a Kurilpa Bridge emanated from the design competition for the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Queensland Place.

This concept anticipated the potential for a continuous link from the Queensland Cultural Centre through Tank Street and Queensland Place to Roma Street Parklands.

Our vision at that time was to connect two of the city’s major parklands – South Bank and Roma Street – conscious that the Goodwill Bridge would create a parallel connection between South Bank and the Botanic Gardens.

We later extended the notion of a city centre multiply connected by pedestrian bridges across its serpentine river, including the Kangaroo Point Bridge and future potentials to New Farm and Bulimba.

Our belief is that such linkages have the potential to re-express Brisbane as the world’s Subtropical City, a city of outdoor lifestyle and connectivity.

Since then, the Kurilpa Bridge’s significance has become even more pivotal in the urban context, for the following reasons:

* The completion of the Gallery of Modern Art and State Library into the Millennium Arts Precinct has provided Brisbane with a major cultural destination in itself, let alone its place in a continuity of cultural places through into South Bank.


* Beyond this precinct is some 2 kilometers of the most intensive urban renewal that the city will ever generate.


* On the CBD side of the river, the impending High Courts Development will combine with the Brisbane Magistrates Court to create a cohesive Justice Precinct within a larger CBD precinct which is experiencing substantial commercial redevelopment, including the likely redevelopment of Roma Street Station.

The Kurilpa Bridge can thus be seen to be potentially the most significant connection in the way the future city centre functions and is perceived.

Moreover, the Kurilpa Bridge will, as the aerial plan illustrates, form the completion of a pedestrian and cycle loop around the river extending the full length of both the CBD and South Bank.

Incorporating the development of North Bank, this loop has the potential to be one of the world’s great recreational lifestyle experiences.

Decription by ARUP, Engineer:
The AU$63 million Kurilpa Bridge provides a pedestrian and cycle crossing over the Brisbane River in Queensland. Sculptural in appearance, the bridge is a multi-mast, cable-stay structure based on principles of tensegrity, a first in city bridge construction.

The bridge is 470m long with a main span of 120m and features two large viewing and relaxation platforms, two rest areas and a continuous all-weather canopy for its entire length. On the northern side, it soars over the CBD expressway, linking pedestrians to parklands and Brisbane’s justice precinct. On the southern side, it was designed to float across the river bank, spiralling before landing at the new Gallery of Modern Art. The lightness of the structure is intended to invoke the romanticism of sailing ships from an age gone by, a frame of white and cable to complement the new Gallery.

While the geometry of the bridge is informal, the cables (in tension) and tubes (in compression) are arranged with a structural rhythm, a logic similar to all tensegrity forms but with the added resilience of reliable infrastructure.

Arup is a leader in applying the complex analysis required to generate suitable geometry for tensegrity-inspired structures.

The bridge was completed in September and opened in October 2009.

Information from Queensland Department of Public Works:
Kurilpa Bridge

Kurilpa Bridge was officially opened by the Honourable Anna Bligh MP, Premier of Queensland, on Sunday 4 October 2009 in a ceremony held at Kurilpa Park, South Brisbane.

After the official proceedings, celebrations continued as thousands of people came to witness this historic event and be among the first to cross the bridge. Festivities included a smorgasbord of live family entertainment and children’s activities throughout Kurilpa Park and the Cultural Centre, including a free sausage sizzle, proudly supported by 4KQ.

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge, which links the Brisbane City centre with South Brisbane is expected to be used by 36 500 people each week.

Overview
To view the final photo of project progress click here.

The $63.3 million Kurilpa Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Brisbane’s inner city, linking the city centre and South Brisbane and completing a pedestrian and bicycle loop linking the city and South Bank via the Goodwill Bridge.

The bridge is part of the Brisbane City Centre Master Plan 2006 prepared by the Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government’s South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program 2008-2026.

The project was completed in October 2009, in time for Queensland's 150th year anniversary celebrations.

Location
The bridge stretches from the North Quay end of Tank Street in the city to Kurilpa Point in South Brisbane, adjacent to the new Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. This is the point where the CBD Reach and the Milton Reach of the river meet.

Use
With 1500 people moving into South East Queensland each week, Brisbane is now at the centre of the fastest growing urban region in Australia. As the city continues to grow and inner city residential developments flourish, the demand for improved pedestrian and cycle pathways will grow.

Kurilpa Bridge provides an environmentally-friendly and enjoyable walking and cycling pathway to the city from South Brisbane.

It is expected that 36 500 people will cross Kurilpa Bridge each week.

Project background
On Monday 5 March 2007, the then Premier Peter Beattie announced the preferred tenderer for the Kurilpa Bridge Project.

Baulderstone Pty Ltd, was selected as the preferred tenderer to design and construct the bridge.

Local design consultants Cox Rayner Architects and ARUP Engineers, form part of the company’s design team.

The Department of Public Works' project team worked closely with the preferred tenderer to finalise the design and development of the bridge.

The Honourable Anna Bligh MP, Premier of Queensland, announced Baulderstone Pty Ltd, as the successful Contractor on Monday 1 October 2007.

Bridge features
Sculptural in appearance, with a network of steel masts seemingly held in suspension by a delicate cross stitching of high wire tensioned cables, Brisbane’s Kurilpa Bridge is a fitting link between its cultural precinct on the southbank of the river and its Law Courts precinct in the CBD.

The bridge is a multiple-mast, cable-stay structure based on principles of tensegrity, an architectural and engineering system in which the structural integrity is a synergy between balanced tension and compression components. This produces a lightweight yet strong and stable structure.

The new bridge presents an artistic array of cables and flying struts recalling the ropes and spars of sailing ships and boats.

Offering expansive views of the river, it features two large viewing and relaxation platforms, two rest areas and a continuous all-weather canopy for the entire length of the bridge.