San Francisco with its golden gate, Paris with the peripherique as a motorway, London with its underground metro network and japan with its high speed trains show how urbanization becomes the identity of the modern day city. Even emerging India gets its representation with the Bandra Worli sea link bridge in Mumbai and the Delhi Gurgaon expressway lending a strong visual reference to our modern Delhi.
The energy that needs to get invested in infrastructure is large and is at large, public. This expenditure deserves deliberation and needs an educated design direction. A holistic and integrated approach is required to create a balance between design and engineering. One needs infrastructural design to possess optimum visual and experiential life as well as a safe, state of the art structure. It cannot work without the other in isolation and claim to be a ‘good design’.
The potential of infrastructure to please the eye and to uplift the soul is not lacking in historical precedent. Some of the greatest monuments to the genius of ancient architects remain those which served as essential infrastructure, one of the most notable examples are the aquaducts constructed by the Romans. From the days of the modern dictum ‘form follows function’ to the current; functionality and its form, in infrastructure design needs to ensure a timeless design impact on society.
One of the notable examples of an aesthetical yet structural solution is the Wazirabad cable stay bridge approaches. These have an ambitious structural system with precast concrete fins that can be seen as an underbelly that defines the evolving engineering practices.
-Ar. Sourabh Gupta