Futuristic Solar Bridge Cleans the Air

A solar energy generator by day, an LED lightshow by night — you’d think that would be enough for this building-to-building bridge concept design by Sanzpoint Arquitectura, but no: it changes shape and cleans its surrounding air as well.

Inhabitat reports that this design, the winner of  the Building to Building Pedestrian Bridge International Challenge, features foldable solar panels, as well as plants that purify the air. (Air escapes the protective membrane that covers the pedestrian bridge via perforated holes, and the movement of this membrane helps to ensure continuous ventilation.)

image via DesignByMany

Composed of an external helix, a tensile membrane, an internal helix and a walkway,this “Dynamic ShapeShifting Helix Bridge” boasts structural flexibility (important for bridges of this sort, subject to fluctuations in wind and vibrations from buildings) as well as sensors that respond when pedestrians cross, circulating the flow of air.

This “responsive” design, as well as the futuristic LED lightshow contained in the outer helix that blinks on after dark, make this bridge an art experience as much as a functional piece of urban infrastructure. With all these bells and whistles, this bridge certainly couldn’t be inexpensive to build, but it certainly offers a compelling vision of the future.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.