In the world of architecture, perhaps nothing is more utilitarian than a bridge. Indeed, not only do these spanning structures allow us to safely pass over a gap, but unlike some skyscrapers and homes, everyone has access to using a bridge. And just because they are functional does not mean they have to be ordinary in design. In fact, it’s in bridges that some of the world’s biggest architects show what their creative minds are capable of. From the Zaha Hadid–designed bridge in Abu Dhabi, to perhaps the lesser known Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran,
Nescio Bridge (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Completed in 2006, Amsterdam’s Nescio Bridge was so breathtaking in beauty and form that it won three major awards in a two-year span. Designed by the London-based WilkinsonEyre, the total length of the structure spans almost 2,600 feet, carrying pedestrians and cyclists over the Amsterdam–Rhine Canal.
Rialto Bridge (Venice, Italy)
Venice’s Rialto Bridge, which was built in the 16th century, is the oldest bridge still standing over the city’s Grand Canal.
Manhattan Bridge (New York City, U.S.A.)
When the Manhattan Bridge was completed in 1912, it took the Brooklyn Bridge’s place for the longest bridge in the city. Spanning some 6,855 feet across the East River, the Manhattan Bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff. Today, hundreds of thousands of commuters use the bridge, crossing by automobile, subway train, bicycle, or on foot.
Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, U.S.A.)
Among the most recognizable structures in the world, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937. Conceived by architect Irving Morrow, the Art Deco-designed building was named one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Puente de la Mujer (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Designed by starchitect Santiago Calatrava, Puente de la Mujer, which was completed in 2001, is located in the commercial district of Buenos Aires.
The Helix Bridge (Singapore)
The Helix Bridge twists through the heart of Singapore, linking Marina Centre with Marina South. Completed in 2010, the bridge stands out in a city with modern architectural gems.
Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge (Brasilia, Brazil)
Located in Brasilia, Brazil, the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge (also referred to as the JK Bridge) was designed by the architect Alexandre Chan and the structural engineer Mário Vila Verde. When it was completed in 2002, the total cost of the bridge was roughly $57 million.