The Slinky Springs Bridge in Oberhausen, Germany, was completed this past summer. Designed by artist Tobias Rehberger, the inspiration for the bridge came from the iconic Slinky toy and the catchy phrase “Slinky Springs to Fame” which seems to be the way the bridge is referred to. Rehberger was able to recreate the light, wild and irregular quality of the toy in his vibrating spiraling bridge that almost looks thrown across the Rhine-Herne Canal. This was no easy feat, if I understand correctly from the not-always-easy-to-decipher google-translated German sites that I read. Apparently, the execution of artist Rehberger’s, (self-admittedly clueless about bridge design) vision was successfully accomplished through the collaboration with structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann and Partner. A bit of description from their website on the 406-meter-long bridge with 496 coils:
Following the design of the artist Tobias Rehberger, a colorful ribbon wrapped in a light, swinging spiral connects the two existing parks. The lightness of this design is due to the minimalist structural design of the stress ribbon bridge. Two steel ribbons made of high strength steel connect to the inclined supports across the canal. The resulting tension force is transferred into strong abutments through the outer vertical tension rods. The walkway consists of pre-cast concrete plates, bolted to the stress ribbon, to which the railing and spiral are attached. The springy synthetic pavement of the walkway as well as the colorful rhythmization of the concrete and coating amplifies the dynamic experience of the bridge.
The colorful pavement pathway was carefully selected by Rehberger who had very specific ideas on its look. Then the bottom of the bridge was made to exactly match the colors on top in a separate material. It’s great how the nighttime illumination really accentuates the colorfulness.
Seems to me that bouncing across the incredibly cool and unique Slinky Bridge could be a lot of fun, if maybe a little unsettling as well.