Footbridge & New facilities
Augusta, Italy, 2008

principals: Andrea Di Stefano, Aleksandra Jaeschke
design team: Francesco Moncada, Paolo Tringali
model making: Corrado Cannata, Livia Rao
engineering: Daniele Catania

Caterpillar footbridge explores the notion of moire effect seeking to turn an undesired visual phenomenon into an intention and trying to virtually embed movement into the structure of a pedestrian footbridge.
The project is part of a larger redevelopment of a transport company. The footbridge connects the existing offices with the new facilities establishing an infrastructural spine. Its distributed structure creates a curtain separating the garden from the industrial part.
The traditional bridge structure based on a horizontal beam supported by a minimum number of vertical load-bearing elements is replaced by a minimum-section deck supported by a multitude of equally distributed tubular elements approaching the maximum structural slenderness. The redundant parts of the structure assume secondary functions. The distrubution of the southern-face components falls within a range of angles which best satisfies the shading requirements. The inclination of the tubes within this range varies in response to other requirements such as structural soundness, visibility and accessibility.
Thus formed arrangements create moire effects – virtual undulations produced by apparent patterns formed by the superposition of the structural layers. This effect changes depending on the viewer’s position, distance and speed. The sensation of movement emerges not only through a cinematic perception of a sequence of objects distributed in space but as a perception of continuous variations embedded in an object.
The Caterpillar generates and channels movement and triggers moire effects which embed it back into the structure.