The latest Forge Prize goes to an innovative concept for a 3D-printed pedestrian steel bridge by Hunter Ruthrauff of T.Y. Lin International Group in San Diego. Established by the American Institute of Steel Construction in 2018, the annual competition invites emerging architects to propose boundary-pushing steel structures.
Ruthrauff's winning bridge concept is conceived for a site in San Diego's Balboa Park, seeking to reflect the network of trails in Florida Canyon through its organic form. According to the designer, 3D-printed steel was chosen due to its better tensile strength than 3D-printed concrete and the reduced complexity of the design process.
"The bridge’s open deck offers uninterrupted views and some unconventional public space: large hammocks over four apertures that look down into the canyon," explains the project description. "The project would take advantage of the unconventional shapes that are possible with 3D-printed structural steel."
Pascale Sablan, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Associate at Adjaye Associates Architects, and a 2021 Forge Prize jury member, commented on the winning design: "I don’t think any of us have a doubt in our mind that it’s going to come together and be a catalyst for the rest of us across the country. [Ruthrauff] really convinced us that [he] can actually help solve some of the infrastructure issues that are plaguing our nation."
The submission for a mixed-use civic plaza in Richmond, Virginia by Yimeng Teng and Mert Kansu of VMDO Architects was selected as the first runner-up. Jieun Yang of Habitat Workshop came in as second runner-up for her Signal Park urban village design.
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