Ultra-thin, high-performance glass bridge


This project presents novel research in structural design and analysis of an ultra-transparent bridge made of glass sheets only in a double layer, funicular, compression–only configuration. The funicular form of the bridge maximizes its structural performance and minimizes the use of materials and resources. The structural form of the project has been developed using 3D graphic statics (3DGS) that is a geometry-based structural design method allowing the extensive exploration of funicular structural solutions in three dimensions. Using 3DGS method results in structural forms that are polyhedral geometries with planar faces. Therefore, not only does 3DGS find the efficient structural forms, but its planarity constraint facilitates the construction using flat sheet materials. The total span of the bridge is 10 m (32.81 ft) with a one-meter deck for pedestrian traffic. The asymmetric geometry of the bridge will significantly improve the behavior of the bridge under asymmetric loading conditions.



Dr. Joseph Yost, Villanova University

Cory Byrnes, Villanova University

Dr. Jens Schneider, Technical University of Darmstadt

Dr. Ulrich Knaack, TU Darmstadt

Chris Borg Costanzi, TU Darmstadt