A Bridge Of Ice

“For millions of years, powerful natural elements such as water, ice, black sand and molten rock have shaped Iceland into a country renowned for its rugged beauty. Yet today an additional, man-made power is sculpting the landscape: aluminium smelters, as part of an industrial landscape controled by hydro-power plants and massive dams.”

This landscape has inspired Garðar Eyjólfsson to design a bridge from these aluminium smelters that collect energy for the plants. But that is not all, as the bridge finally has to become an ice bridge co-designed by man and nature, hereby creating a beautiful natural form.

Like with your own fridge at home, these smelters create a layer of ice when they’re cold in an humid environment. That’s what happens here. The bridge of ice symbolizes the congregation of the new hydro-energy industry and the old natural landscape, created by raw elements. The form of the bridge is never the same since the layer of ice grows and shrinks depending on fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Here these fluctuations are caused by a heat pump and a hydro-electric turbine.

This article belongs to our Dutch Design Week 2011 series, in which we showcase ten great designs spotted at the Design Academy’s graduation show.