When Spain chose to host Expo '92 on a large
but deserted island in the Guadalquivir River in Seville, building new bridges to the
island became a big part of the Expo preparations. Four new bridges were built, of which
Calatrava designed two.
The Alamillo bridge is on by far the largest
scale. It is a road bridge at the north end of La Cartuja island on which the Expo was
held, with a 142m high pylon that has become a landmark visible from Seville's old town.
Calatrava's original design was for a
symmetrical pair of bridges either side of La Cartuja island, 1.5 km apart along the same
main road. In fact only one of the two was built; alone, the Alamillo bridge's striking
feature is its forcefully asymmetric design. Its single pylon inclines away from the
river, and supports the 200m span with thirteen pairs of cables. The weight of the
concrete and steel pylon provides a counterbalance for the bridge deck.
The single plane of cables support a beam down
the middle of the road, maintaining the bridge's image of a harp. The roadway itself is
cantilevered out from the beam.
Simon Glynn 1992 and 1999
How to visit
The Alamillo bridge is at the north end of La
Cartuja island, crossing the San Jeronimo Meander to the old quarter of Seville. Although
a road bridge, it has a raised pedestrian walkway down the center.
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