Solarlace Tonkinliu 03

Solar Lace Bridge

Galp Energia Bridge, 2009

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Client: Galp Energia Foundation
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Budget: €1,000,000
Size: 40 m (span)
Structure & Sustainability: Arup
Experimental Design Exhibition, Lisbon

The Solar Lace Bridge is a minimal structure that expands as it crosses the motorway, collecting the sun’s energy and creating a public place. The single surface structure is 8mm thick perforate corten steel, spanning 40 metres. Three interlinked torsion beams establish three routes for walking, cycling, and running.

Solarlace Tonkinliu 04
Solarlace Tonkinliu 06
Solarlace Tonkinliu 09

three routes for walking, cycling, running,
expand as they cross the motorway,
collecting the sun’s energy,
to light the ultra-thin, perforate structure at night

Solarlace Tonkinliu 05

During the day changing dappled light and shifting moirés cast by the perforations along the bridge create an urban and human-scale social landmark. Photovoltaic cells gather energy to light LEDs at night. The bridge pioneers the innovative Shell Lace Structure technique, which uses highly efficient geometry with minimum weight and wastage, integrating digital tools for iterative design, analysis, and fabrication.

Solarlace Tonkinliu 01