words Beatrice Galilee
YouTube and Flickr groups have been devoted to documenting the Henderson Waves, a spectacular bridge designed by London-based practice IJP Corporation. The structure spans 300m between Mount Faber and Telok Blangah Hill in Singapore, joining together two major public parks.
The design was the result of a complex set of parametric equations that IJP founder George Legendre had been working on while an academic at Harvard. The practice won the competition shortly after it was founded in 2004.
“It’s an ideal programme,” says Legendre. “The bridge is a line across two summits, from A to B, and then it’s about dealing with constraints such as mobility to create a more complex object. We see it as an opportunity to roll out examples of new solutions to old problems.”
The undulating form has seven waves, the largest 57m long and around 6m in height. A series of pods and alcoves serve as shelters and viewing points as the deck surface ripples up and down, and seating is integrated seamlessly into the decking.
The original proposition was for a structure made entirely of timber, but the Singapore government was keen for the bridge to convey more modern techniques. IJP chose a relatively straightforward steel structure, made through a series of ribs, and clad the curving deck in over 1,200sq m of Yellow Balau, a tropical hardwood.
top image The steel and timber bridge spans 300m between two public parks in Singapore