Lightspine proposes a lightweight timber bridge of preassembled masscustomised modular components that lace together. It can be rapidly assembled and has been developed as a fast but elegant response to emergency situations (e.g. post-earthquake in Haiti and Chile). Sustainably reared timber forms the central components, seamlessly blending the treads and risers into single monolithic milled masses that can be neatly and rapidly transported and assembled in situ. The bridge ties together a progression of timber vertebrae along a pair of curving catenary cables following a line of optimised structural efficiency.
In the proposal for the XII Venice Biennale, the vertebrae stack together under compression to form an extremely lightweight necklace of components that appear to float above the water. The catenary form describes the static weight of the bridge’s mass. The integrated lighting system then delicately mirrors real time traffic, slowly fluctuating to visualise the force of footsteps upon it and the internal stresses in the vertebrae.