Friday, October 28, 2011
I have never been off UL campus unless I am going out for the night with my friends but a place that always interested me and many others is the “Living Bridge” or in Irish - “An Droichead Beo”.
The Living Bridge was probably the first reason I ever heard of The University of Limerick. Open in November 2007 and officially opened by President Mary McAleese 21st January 2008 It is The longest pedestrian bridge in Ireland with the intention of being designed to create an organic relationship with the environment with in my opinion is captured perfectly such in a delicate balance. The bridge is designed to perfection. What I mean by this is it does not overly stand out instead it laces The Shannon in a bracelet of silver, adding to its beauty.
For research I used the standard search engine Google.
According to http://www.ulf.ie/projects/the-pedestrian-living-bridge/ the platforms are designed to accommodate social gatherings, informal teaching sessions, music and dance performances, as well as a wide array of educational, social and cultural activities – all contributing to this facility’s status as a “living” bridge”.
Though my research into the bridge itself I found out that it was uniquely designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and constructed by Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel).
It is the longest pedestrian bridge in Ireland with the intention of being designed to create an organic relationship with the environment. In my opinion it is captured perfectly such in a delicate balance. The bridge is designed to perfection. What I mean by this is it does not overly stand out instead it laces The Shannon in a bracelet of silver, adding to its beauty. Plus there is almost a Celtic feel to the bridge though the design of the lightweight steel’s curves and the purple and green lights which shine off it at night time. The bridge is almost like camouflage allowing pedestrians to really appreciate the beauty of nature around them.
I got a lot of my pictures from the site http://bocktherobber.com and the originals can be found here: http://bocktherobber.com/2007/11/the-university-of-limericks-living-bridge
Being intrigued by this I wanted to venture future into the commercial aspect of the bridge. www.lmkeating.ie let me see a clear synopsis of the bridge in money terms and other interesting facts such as; it being valued at 12m, the programme ran over 18 months and the bridge was re-located at the site of the original bridge.
So now that I had some background on the bridge I decided to go and use the bridge for the first time. I could see straight away why they called it the living bridge; you could really feel the deck beneath your feet moving up and down, as though it’s alive. I took a few pictures of myself and my friends and we enjoyed the scenery on the walk back to Killmurry.
When I came home from lectures I went back onto Google to research further into the “Living Bridge” and I came across pictures of the bridge being built in a miraculous 5 days. http://www.wilkinsoneyre.com/projects/university-of-limerick-living-bridge.aspx?category=bridges
UL also played their part in keeping everyone up to date by posting on their website about the opening:
“President Mary McAleese will be on campus tomorrow to officially open the Living Bridge. As a consequence of this the Living Bridge will be closed from 9:30 to 12:30. All students are invited to attend this memorable occasion.” (http://www.ulsu.ie/news/living-bridge)
11123591 - Niamh Cooney