Bridges are functional and allow us to cross lakes, rivers, and roads, but they can also be creative with extraordinary designs! The different types of bridges include arch bridges, beam bridges, cable-style bridges, cantilever bridges, suspension Bridges, truss bridges, and tied arch bridges. Check out these iconic bridges that are a sight to behold.
1. The Twist – Jevnaker, Norway
Designer: Bjarke Ingels Group
Designed as an art bridge in the forest, the Twist is a gallery, a bridge, and a sculpture. Spanning over a length of 1000 meters, the building twists it into a sculptural form. As Norway continues experimenting with modern architecture, this bridge functions as an art gallery in Norway’s greatest sculptural park.
2. Helix Bridge – Singapore
Designer: Cox Architecture
Inspired by the geometric arrangement of a DNA strand, the Helix Bridge at Singapore’s Marina Bay is a walkway that is enclosed by opposing double-helix stainless steel structures. It spans across the Singapore River, allowing pedestrians to walk its curved deck from one side of the city’s central business district to the other side of the river. The bridge has four viewing platforms that provide views of the Singapore skyline and strategically placed canopies fabricated out of fritted-glass and perforated steel mesh along parts of the inner spiral to provide shade for pedestrians.
3. Nanpu Bridge – Shanghai, China
Designers: Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute
The Nanpu Bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge spanning over 400 meters in Shanghai. Its shape is reminiscent of a dragon lying across the Huangpu River, with its head and tail in a spiral shape linking the old city area of Puxi with the Pudong Developing Zone. The bridge comprises two “H”-shape reinforced concrete towers of 150 m height each and 22 pairs of steel cable arranged in a fan pattern to support the main girders.
4. Capilano Cliffwalk – North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Designer: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
One of the latest features of Capilano’s Suspension Bridge is the Cliff Walk. The suspended pathway is a metal walkway along the edge of a cliff and the canyon below. It is characterized by its unique circular-shaped section that curves out from the canyon wall and is supported by several connected cable stays. In addition, the walkway has a glass-enclosed platform that dead ends in space and allows one to look down into the gorge below.
5. Jiaozhou Bay Bridge China – Qingdao, Shandong Province, China
Designer: Shandong Gasou Group
Spanning a length of 42 km or nearly the length of a marathon, the Jiaozhou Bay bridge in China is the world’s longest cross-sea bridge. It cuts down the travel time by half for those traveling between East China and the island of Huangdao.
6. Royal Gorge Bridge – Colorado, United States
Designer: George Cole for Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado is America’s highest suspension bridge. It offers scenic views of the Royal Gorge, a 1,200-foot canyon on the Arkansas River, it forms a 10-mile-long gorge, and the bridge is suspended 1053 feet above the river.
7. Seri Wawasan Bridge – Putrajaya, Malaysia
Designer: PJSI Consultants
The Seri Wawasan Bridge is one of the main bridges in Putrajaya, the Malaysian federal territory and administrative center. This futuristic cable-stayed bridge with a forward-inclined pylon mimics the look of a sailing ship. It is accented at night with changeable color lighting.
8. Sunniberg Bridge – Klosters-Serneus, Grisons, Switzerland
Designer: Christian Menn
Spanning across the sharp mountains of the northeastern Swiss Alps, the Sunniberg Bridge is a tall cable-stayed bridge with low pylons. It crosses the Landquart River 200 feet over the water. Its structural members are shaped in response to engineering considerations and have both functional and high aesthetic qualities.
9. Henderson Waves Bridge – Singapore
Designers: RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, IJP Architects
The Henderson Waves Bridge is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. At 36 meters above the ground, the bridge is 274 meters long and replicates the undulating shape of a wave. The unique shape of the bridge creates hidden recesses and shell-like niches where pedestrians can sit and enjoy the surrounding views.
10. Nescio Zubizuri – Bilbao, Spain
Designer: Santiago Calatrava
The Zubizuri Bridge is a tied arch footbridge across the Nervion River in Bilbao, Spain. The spectacular design of the bridge comprises a curved walkway that is supported by steel suspension cables from an overhead arch. Painted in white, the bridge deck consists of glass bricks and offers a convenient route to the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum.
11. Python Bridge – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Designer: Adriaan Geuze (West 8)
One of Amsterdam’s most famous engineering marvels, the Python Bridge, resembles an enormous, winding red python. It spans the canal between Sporenburg and Borneo Island, and its wavy shape is strategically designed so that taller ships can pass underneath.
12. Sheikh Zayed Bridge – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Designer: Zaha Hadid
The Sheikh Zayed Bridge symbolizes the flow of energy into Abu Dhabi, and its waveform with a fluid silhouette is reminiscent of sand dunes. This is one of the most complex bridges ever built, and its dynamic lighting scheme creates an illusion that sand dunes are on the move.
13. Puente de la Mujer – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Designer: Santiago Calatrava
Women’s Bridge Puente de la Mujer is located in Port Madelo (Puerto Madero), a 160-meter cable-stayed bridge, showing a pair of men and women jumping at TANGO. This is a moving bridge (though rarely moved), and when a boat needs to pass, the bridge is rotated 90 degrees with the heels of high heels (pierles) as the pivot, opening the center of the bridge to allow the boat to pass smoothly. The design is clever and creative.
14. Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge – Brasilia, Brazil
Designers: Alexandre Chan, Mario Vila Verde
The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge is a steel and concrete structure that provides both vehicular and pedestrian crossing over Lake Paranoá. It lies between the city center and the eastern shore and aligns with the Monumental axis of Brazil’s capital. It comprises four supporting pillars submerged under water and 61 m tall asymmetrical steel arches criss-cross diagonally over the bridge.
15. Ruyi Bridge – Zhejiang, China
Designer: He Yunchang (Images courtesy of MyBestPlace)
Made up of three bridges, the Ruyi Bridge is a footbridge in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China. The pedestrian bridge featured a glass-bottomed pathway and was specifically built to cross the Shenxianju Valley. Also known as a bending bridge, the unusual curved walkways are a big attraction among locals and tourists.
16. Golden Bridge – Da Nang, Vietnam
Designer: TA Landscape Architecture
The unique design of Golden Bridge is designed as stone hands that support the golden-hued pedestrian bridge. The arched bridge combines natural and artificial and perfectly harmonizes with the surroundings. Its name, ‘Golden Bridge,’ comes from its gilded railing frame. It connects the cable car station with the gardens, providing scenic beauty and tourist attractions. The spectacular pedestrian bridge looks like it is stretched out in the air under the colossal hands.
17. Dragon Bridge – Da Nang, Vietnam
Designer: Ammann & Whitney
Shaped as a dragon that breathes fire, the Dragon Bridge is an engineering marvel that celebrates the country’s rich history and the 38th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The dragon’s fire-breathing and water-spraying performance attracts tourists and locals a lot.
18. Langkawi Sky Bridge – Langkawi, Malaysia
Designer: Peter Wyss
Suspended high in the sky, the Langkawi Sky Bridge offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and islands. The curved pedestrian bridge is located on Langkawi Island in Malaysia. It crosses at the top of Machinchang Mountain, spans a valley between two mountain peaks, and is one of the world’s highest bridges with an elevation of 1000 meters.
19. Glacier Skywalk – Jasper National Park, Canada
Designer: Sturgess Architecture
The Glacier Skywalk is high above the Sunwapta Valley, a glass-floored observation that draws visitors into the Jasper National Park. A combination of structural steel and glass, the Skywalk is anchored into the rock on the side of the mountain. Located in the Canadian Rockies, the Jasper National Park comprises a vast wilderness area of Alberta province defined by glaciers, native wildlife, lakes, and peaks like Mt. Edith Cavell.
20. Magdeburg Water Bridge Germany
Designer: Ingenieurbüro Grassl
The Magdeburg Water Bridge is a navigable aqueduct in Germany that serves as an efficient route between the Elbe-Havel and the Mittelland Canal, crossing the Elbe. The water bridge joins two bodies of water using water instead of concrete, allowing large commercial ships to pass between Rhineland and Berlin. Spread over 918m. It is one of the longest navigable aqueducts in the world.