A severe steel and glass structure of sophisticated conception conforms to the sober character of this productive city. When the sun light fades, the structure dissolves into a phantasmagoria of multicolored lights and reverberations. Hovering in the dark atmosphere above the river, standing out against the darkness of the park, its presence will appear mysteriously suspended in the air by the shuffle of water from the river and rustling of foliage from the woods. A tetrahedron, or equilateral pyramid, is the most solid figure in the Euclidian space. Each triangular face is non-deformable, as is the volume. Its six equal edges can uniformly convey forces along equal angles into its four vertices. Six bars joining each-other in the shape of a tetrahedron form the most weight-efficient structure in Euclidean space. Although Aristotle had confided in the intuitive viability of a complete tessellation of space by additional aggregations of tetrahedrons, simple geometrical demonstrations tell us that we need to introduce an octahedron each forth tetrahedron to fill up gaps. A truss-structure composed by alternating tetrahedrons and octahedrons represents a strong as well as light structural configuration, capable to respond to omnidirectional forces. A longitudinal truss-work with an overall section of about 6.5 m x 6.5 m, composed by such modules with 0.7 m bars, is calculated to be able to span over an 80 m section agilely bearing the charges associated to pedestrian and bicycle transit in addition to its own weight without intermediate supports. Without affecting the structural stability, a 3 m x 3 m tunnel can be longitudinally excavated at the core of the truss-work by eliminating the inner modules in order to allow transit of people across. The geometric perfection of the outer surface is equally corroded through random elimination oftunnel is equipped with a 3 m wide wooden passageway for pedestrians and cyclists, while its sides and ceiling are clad with glass panes protecting by-passers from rainfalls and winds. During daytime the glazed surfaces look like opaque crystalline mineral formations entrapped inside the truss-work, but suddenly explode like fireworks dissolving in colorful transparencies at night.
location: Salford Meadows
competition: international, 2013
bid: Municipality of Salford
span: 80 m
design: AUS Pasini Ranieri with Caterina Spadoni