The Batman Avenue Bridge competition sought to create a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge over Batman Avenue, as part of stage two developments to the Melbourne Park Sporting precinct. studio505’s response to the brief was to design a bridge to be coherent and visionary for all visitors, including those who experience the bridge and its connections in the real world, and the burgeoning numbers of national and international visitors to Melbourne who experience our city virtually through television, online media and branding.
studio505’s proposal was to create a bridge that is not only connected to Melbourne Park, but intrinsically linked to its environment, blurring the lines between structure and surrounding, engineering and ecology. A deep understanding of Australian flora, along with materials and textures found across the country, allowed for a design that is engaging and sympathetic with both its surroundings and its visitors.
studio505’s proposal engages with the 21st century’s future of structures through the intelligent use of sustainable materials, through touching the earth lightly and through the integration of our separate design disciplines in creating a newly planted ground that seemingly floats across the road.
The structural system proposed for the bridge is one which seeks to touch the ground as lightly as possible and respond sympathetically to the surroundings and embed itself within the landscape.
The structural system is relatively simple in many ways, formed from a series of steel beams with infills between to form the deck, but complex in other ways, governed by a series of sweeping curves and a changing structural grid.
The distillation of the form into a series of simple to understand elements of primary structural beams and secondary deck allowed studio505 to achieve the constantly evolving appearance without unnecessarily complex design problems.