Floral Street Bridge London

A symbiosis of art and technology. - Umbrella management by GIG.

When buildings are to be turned into works of art conventions must cease to exist. Naturally the waiving of standard solutions places enormouse demands on Designers and Erectors alike. If required, GIG is able to carry out complete production assembly not only on site but also at its production facility at Attnang-Puchheim in Upper Austria. Accordingly, transport and installation are often operations involving items of singular dimensions, as evidenced by the Floral Street Bridge, which links the Royal Opera House with the Royal Ballet School in London's Covent Garden.

A facade with a twist. The Floral Street Bridge. A floating passage for the Royal Ballet.
An aluminium caterpillar or a concertina? A GIG project challenges the imagination.

Anyone passing from the Royal Ballet School to the Royal Opera House high above Floral Street is following famous footsteps. The fascinating asymmetry of the Floral Street Bridge is the work of the Wilkinson Eyre architectural team, which also created the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in co-operation with GIG.

A "heavenly" link.

Preservation orders and laterally offset linkage points at different heights are just about the most unfavourable preconditions conceivable for a bridge linking two buildings. The solution lay in a strikingly simple geometrical and structural idea, which nevertheless posed GIG with an extremely complex manufacturing challenge. Twenty three square aluminium portal frames were produced and fixed to an aluminium deck beam, each frame being slightly staggered both transversely and vertically from its predecessor. At the same time each frame was rotated by 4,1° relative to its predecessor. In this way both of the end portals were exactly vertical, as there was a 90° twist along the whole length of the bridge.

A bridge of partnership.

The close co-operation between GIG's Engineers, the Client and the Architect facilitated an optimum solution for the support structure of the bridge. Sections of aluminium plate were welded and bolted together to create a triangular box girder construction, which forms a spinal beam for the bridge. The fact that the erection of the complete assembly took less than two hours provided a further example of the success of the Austrian Partner GIG.

London, UK
The Royal Ballet School London
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Aluminium Imagination Award 2003; BCIA (British Construction Industry) - Special Award 2003 for Innovation in Concept, Design & Exec.; RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award Winner 2004