Swinging bridge at the dinosaurs

Whether as a crossing or a sculpture, still hot-dip galvanized

The world’s oldest dinosaur park was created in 1854 in London’s Crystal Palace Park. The listed concrete dinosaur models are a testament to a time long gone, some 170 years ago. The replicas of the prehistoric animals can be found on several smaller islands in the park. In order to allow controlled access to the islands with the prehistoric animals, a swing bridge was constructed to create a connection only when entry is permitted. Outside of opening hours, the bridge functions as a floating, sculptural work of art.

In its appearance, the swing bridge refers to prehistoric bony fish, the ancestors of dinosaurs. It thus becomes the starting point on the evolutionary timeline depicted on the islands and tells the first chapter of the origin of the dinosaurs. The backbone of the complex bridge is an organically shaped triangular structure which, in conjunction with laser-cut ridges, forms the “skeleton of the bony fish”. The rails are the ribs of the sculpture, which were hot-dip galvanised completely, that is, in one piece, after production. Although the bridge stands in water and thus in a permanently wet environment, it is protected from corrosion for many decades thanks to the hot-dip galvanizing. The swing bridge was designed by architectural practice Tonkin Liu in collaboration with Arup and Cake Industries. The bridge was funded by a public fundraising campaign.

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