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Architecture students’ winter spectacle to showcase Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice
POSTED 28 Apr 2015 . BY Kate Corney
An international team of students led by the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is to build a 50m (164ft) ice bridge as the centrepiece for a winter exhibition of architecture in Finland in 2016.

Expected to attract thousands of visitors, the bridge is based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci and will be the longest open span bridge ever built from ice.

The universities of Leuven, Aalto (Helsinki), Ghent, Bath and Edinburgh (UK) will also build and contribute their own ice structures for the exhibition in Jukka, Finland.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice will be built in a 70m (229ft) deep quarry and around 100 students and volunteers will be involved. Students will allow water to freeze on the walls of the quarry, creating a kind of ‘ice arena’.

Construction of the foundations will start at the end of December, and the bridge, which will be reinforced with paper fibre, should be completed in mid-February 2016.

The design is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s plans for a bridge over the Bosphorus, which was never built.

The ice bridge uses the same construction principle as Da Vinci’s bridge: the whole structure is only subject to compression loads.

“It will be a long, narrow bridge providing a new construction challenge”, said project leader and TU/e lecturer Arno Pronk. “There have been bridges of 15 metres, but we’ve never seen one as long as this.”

When the bridge is finished it will carry pedestrians. Pronk added: “A car should be able to drive over it with no problems.”

These projects are all based on ‘pykrete’- ice reinforced with wood or paper fibres.

Pronk and the two students who are leading the project together, Roel Koekkoek and Thijs van de Nieuwenhof, want to show that pykrete is an excellent building material for temporary structures. “Pykrete offers an easy way to build slim, safe and low-cost temporary structures – for example for temporary roads in arctic regions, at events or for ice hotels.”

The bridge will be built by spraying thin layers of water and snow onto a large inflated balloon, and then letting it freeze. Layers of snow and water with 10 per cent paper fibres, are sprayed alternately.

The water-fibre mix is then immediately absorbed by the snow, and it all freezes together. The addition of fibres makes the material three times as strong and tougher than normal ice. The builders will work in shifts day and night in the freezing cold to prevent the equipment from freezing.

Last winter, students from Eindhoven built a 30m (98ft) high church, based on Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Familia, and the year before they constructed world’s largest ice dome stretching 30m wide – a record they hope to break with the bridge.
 


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Architecture students’ winter spectacle to showcase Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice
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Leisure news
28 Apr 2015
Architecture students’ winter spectacle to showcase Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice

BY Kate Corney
3D sketch of Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice
photo: Eindhoven University of Technology

An international team of students led by the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is to build a 50m (164ft) ice bridge as the centrepiece for a winter exhibition of architecture in Finland in 2016.

Expected to attract thousands of visitors, the bridge is based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci and will be the longest open span bridge ever built from ice.

The universities of Leuven, Aalto (Helsinki), Ghent, Bath and Edinburgh (UK) will also build and contribute their own ice structures for the exhibition in Jukka, Finland.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice will be built in a 70m (229ft) deep quarry and around 100 students and volunteers will be involved. Students will allow water to freeze on the walls of the quarry, creating a kind of ‘ice arena’.

Construction of the foundations will start at the end of December, and the bridge, which will be reinforced with paper fibre, should be completed in mid-February 2016.

The design is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s plans for a bridge over the Bosphorus, which was never built.

The ice bridge uses the same construction principle as Da Vinci’s bridge: the whole structure is only subject to compression loads.

“It will be a long, narrow bridge providing a new construction challenge”, said project leader and TU/e lecturer Arno Pronk. “There have been bridges of 15 metres, but we’ve never seen one as long as this.”

When the bridge is finished it will carry pedestrians. Pronk added: “A car should be able to drive over it with no problems.”

These projects are all based on ‘pykrete’- ice reinforced with wood or paper fibres.

Pronk and the two students who are leading the project together, Roel Koekkoek and Thijs van de Nieuwenhof, want to show that pykrete is an excellent building material for temporary structures. “Pykrete offers an easy way to build slim, safe and low-cost temporary structures – for example for temporary roads in arctic regions, at events or for ice hotels.”

The bridge will be built by spraying thin layers of water and snow onto a large inflated balloon, and then letting it freeze. Layers of snow and water with 10 per cent paper fibres, are sprayed alternately.

The water-fibre mix is then immediately absorbed by the snow, and it all freezes together. The addition of fibres makes the material three times as strong and tougher than normal ice. The builders will work in shifts day and night in the freezing cold to prevent the equipment from freezing.

Last winter, students from Eindhoven built a 30m (98ft) high church, based on Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Familia, and the year before they constructed world’s largest ice dome stretching 30m wide – a record they hope to break with the bridge.


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