After Foster + Partners completed a pair of skyscrapers connected by a suspension bridge, Dezeen rounds up a dozen buildings that feature various types of skybridges.
Bridge structures that span buildings high up in mid-air are now a common trick for architects to show off in skyscraper projects.
Among the earliest examples is the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice, which was completed in 1600, but skybridges have become increasingly common and ambitious in recent years thanks to advances in engineering technology.
Below are 12 of the most arresting contemporary skybridges around the world:
The bridge itself, which is a dizzying 105 metres above the ground and 90 metres long, is attached to the vertically slatted cores of its guardian towers.
Designed by late Argentine-American architect César Pelli, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur arguably kicked off the wave of skybridges that have sprung up in the 21st century.
The towers were the tallest in the world between 1998 and 2004 at 451 metres, and remain the tallest twin towers on the globe.
They were designed to encourage the tech company’s workers not to become siloed in their individual departments. Between them, the bridges house a health centre, a library, a running track and a full-sized basketball court.
Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie is the king of the skybridge, with his Marina Bay Sands resort now widely recognised as an architectural icon in Singapore.
The complex’s three 57-storey towers are topped by a sky garden that cantilevers out for 65 metres on one side. In an interview with Dezeen, Safdie said the project represented “a new kind of public realm”.
Another Singapore project by Safdie Architects, Sky Habitats consists of a pair of balcony-covered apartment towers linked by three aerial walkways.
The white truss bridges are intended to provide communal outdoor space for residents in the form of sky gardens and include a vertiginous swimming pool on the highest bridge.
At the Raffles City complex in Chongqing, The Crystal skybridge connects four 250-metre-tall skyscrapers.
Described by Safdie Architects as a “horizontal skyscraper”, The Crystal is a 300-metre-long glass-and-steel tube containing gardens, bars, restaurants, a clubhouse and a hotel lobby, with a transparent-bottomed viewing deck at one end.
The 234-metre-tall building’s two towers are connected on their upper floors by a 75-metre-long cantilevered linking element. This produces its distinctive overall shape, described as a “three-dimensional cranked loop”.
Floors 27 to 29 of these bent Manhattan skyscrapers designed by SHoP Architects are connected by a skybridge that is 30 metres long and sits 91 metres above the ground.
The three-storey bridge contains an indoor lap pool, a hot tub and a bar and lounge for residents of the luxury apartment complex.
“It’s the transparency, the lightness of touch and the fact that it’s straddling two buildings that makes it unique – and it captures the imagination, the fact that swimmers can see the ground and people below can see the sky,” said HAL founder Hal Currey.
Seen from the front, the ME Dubai hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects appears to be a giant cube with a large hole at its centre.
But the reverse view reveals it is in fact a pair of towers connected at the bottom and top, with a three-storey bridge suspended 71 metres in the air above the lower atrium.
The tapered 164-metre-tall towers of Collins Arch, a mixed-use skyscraper in Melbourne designed by Woods Bagot and SHoP Architects, are linked at the top by an eight-story skybridge.
“The skybridge connecting the two buildings is not simply decorative,” said SHoP Architects founding principal Bill Sharples. “It maximizes views and sunlight for office, hotel and residential occupants of the two buildings that, on the ground, meet public space and commercial requirements.”
The “gateway” office building stands beside the Gyeongbu Expressway, a major arterial road leading into the city that is used by around 1.2 million drivers a day.
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