Growth House

Tendril Bridge

Multistory Apartment

Morphable Museum

Community Center

The Tendril Bridge
by John M. Johansen & Mohamad Alkayer
THE TENDRIL BRIDGE (2002)


To demonstrate molecular growth as applied to major structures, I select the bridge. However, among the numerous large and ingenious bridge types, the two tower cantilevered bridge seems most appropriate to the growth process. The cantilever type allows for a balanced growth from both sides of the towers. The cantilevered, outreaching braces would be, not of unwieldy cables, but of integrated struts. As branches from a tower or towers extend themselves, they grow in thickness, or girth, maintaining the necessary strength - weight ratio.

As branches, or "tendrils" as from vines, growing from any two towers approach each other, exactly align themselves, meet and grow together in fusion, as do the cambium layers of grafted plants. Correct alignment is assured by electronic devices presently used for in-flight aviation.

An additional feature of such a bridge would be that of "variably controlled deformation," by which the ever changing load conditions, common to all bridges, would be monitored and by molecular nano technology "morphability" to accommodate the changing forces of all members throughout the entire structure. This, known as "tensegrity," is found throughout nature, as for example, the nucleus of a living cell which is suspended by strands within its case.