Judged World Best Transport project at the World Architecture Festival Awards in Barcelona, the Kurilpa Bridge was designed by Cox Rayner Architects and took the honour over projects in the United Arab Emirates, China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Opened in 2009, the Kurilpa Bridge was designed to represent the ships that once sailed into the Brisbane River. It has since become a tourist attraction carrying an estimated 50 000 pedestrians and cyclists each week between the CBD and South Brisbane.
Judges said the bridge appeared to ‘float’ over the river while its structural elements ‘seem to be abstractly suspended in the air making the bridge appear very different, functional, unique and sculptural’.
The Kurilpa Bridge is the world’s largest structure based upon the principles of ‘tenesgrity’, a term first used by legendary 20th century innovator and architect Richard Buckminster Fuller to describe a system of balanced compressive and tensile forces.
The judges added the bridge provided a pedestrian and cycle connection across Brisbane’s river but also formed a new public space, as well as a symbol for art, science, technology and healthy living.
Michael Rayner, Principal of Cox Rayner and a member of the Queensland Design Council, flew to Barcelona for the announcement.
The Kurilpa Bridge has won a number of other awards including the Karl Langer Medal for Urban Design in the 2010 Australian Institute of Architects Awards.
Cox Rayner also won the World Best Transport category in the 2010 World Architecture Festival Award for its design of the Helix Bridge in Singapore.