There's something about wavy, sinuous lines that captivates. Perhaps it's the soft undulations reminiscent of rivers and oceans, or the defiance against the rigidity espoused by modernism. Architects are clearly getting seduced, too. More and more, we are seeing billowing forms take shape in some of the most prominent buildings and projects across the world.
For this year's A+ Awards, we received a bevy of submissions featuring these attractive, rippling contours. But more than any other typology, bridges and pathways seem to take particularly well to sinuous lines, helical volumes, and spiraling forms. Often composed of concrete and metal, these projects meander toward the sea, cross rivers, and provide access to public parks, gracing cities with sculptural forms. Here are six of our favorite curvaceous A+ finalists—and don't forget to vote for yours here!
At a spectacular Norwegian seaside location, Reiulf Ramstad Architects wanted to slow down the movement of walking to the water from the road by means of refocusing the experiential approach. Like a winding river, a concrete monolithic path meanders toward the sea, slowly guiding visitors along a journey that includes a bike shed, public toilets, benches, an open kitchen, and a fireplace.
This shimmering stainless steel footbridge features an eye-catching helix design, which reflects sunlight to create a dazzling glimmering effect. A metaphor for the increasingly close association between the two parts of Madrid separated by the river Manzanares, the bridge is transformed by back lighting into a golden spiral floating mysteriously above the river at night.
Oil Harbour Bridge by schneider+schumacher / Frankfurt - Vienna - Tianjin, Raunheim, Germany
A+ category: Landscapes and Gardens
The curlicue design of the Oil Harbour Bridge does more than create a spiral over a river in Raunheim; it also prevents pedestrian access to the nearby oil depot and tankers, which house and transport highly flammable substances. The elegant, helical form of white concrete emphasizes the bridge's purpose of leisure, while vertical walls rise up to a height of 2.8 meters above the walkway, providing the required shielding from the oil terminal.
The steel structure of the Hans Wilsdorf Bridge is composed of interlaced elliptic rings and linear elements to create an expressive and elegant shape. The metal structure forms a large 8.5-meter-high tube that criss-crosses a prestressed concrete deck linking the two river banks. At night, red light illuminates the interior and, combined with the bluish-white tints of the exterior, creates a chromatic duality reminiscent of an alpine landscape at dawn or at dusk.
Situated opposite the popular harbor hangout of Islands Brygge, this structure consists of two wood plank plazas that feature undulating ramps like waves over the water. An oasis on the water, the Kalvebod Waves seeks to revitalize the desolated office spaces of the harbor by providing a greater connection to the water with recreational activities and leisure space.
Once a dilapidated road on a river embankment in Moscow, this embankment is now a lane for pedestrians and bicycles. Echoing the undulations of the river, wave-shaped pavilions have replaced a chaotic exhibition area and small hills with benches scattered about have become part of the landscape, extending a green strip from Gorky Park on the other side of the Krymsky Bridge.