Adrenaline architecture: sky-high bridges and swimming pools

  • 14 Jun 2016

howardchapmanHoward Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor asks if building sky-high bridges and swimming pools with glass and transparent acrylic is great design innovation or just the latest adrenaline fix.


Fullscreen capture 14062016 065000Adrenaline architecture

Last week I wrote about the Embassy Sky Gardens Sky Pool project being built in Battersea, London – the world’s first totally transparent Sky Pool.

Fullscreen capture 14062016 064601Now the world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge will carry 800 people at a time over the mighty Zhangziazie Grand Canyon in China.

Is this ‘pushing the boundaries of architecture’ – another example of sky high building with glass and transparent acrylic? Or is it just the latest adrenaline fix for a generation hooked on high buildings and scary rides.

The record-breaking glass-bottomed walkway is set to open in July but the builders wanted to demonstrate the safety to nervous tourists. So they glass bridge test bestinvited the trusted BBC to use a sledgehammer to try and break through the glass bottom of this 980ft-high bridge, spanning 1,410ft across the spectacular Zhangziazie Grand Canyon.

Below is the BBC video of the challenge.

Watch nervous BBC journalist Dan Simmons as he tries to smash through the glass bottom of the bridge with a sledgehammer. You also see the president of the company that built the bridge, plus 25 ‘volunteers’, all jumping together on the shattered section.

Where next for adrenaline architecture?

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