SEDRD Professor Collaborates on Winning Proposal for an International Design Competition

Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Written by Afshin Ashari

graphic image of modular dome pattern bridge over highway.
"Urban Bridge" design proposal. Rendering by Ashari Architects

For the 2021 2A Continental Architectural Awards (2ACAA), “Urban Bridge” is a Future Project/Innovative Design proposal for a new bridge connecting two significant parts of Isfahan city. Landscape Architecture Assistant Professor, Afshin Ashari collaborated with Iranian architects earning a third-place award.

The Urban Bridge by Ashari’s team proposes a modular dome pattern inspired by geometric divisions of Isfahan’s historic bridges. Through labyrinthine paths in both vertical and horizontal axis, the design provides various spatial experiences for visitors while introducing a contemporary translation of historical forms. Furthermore, it encourages social interactions and recreational activities to preserve the identity of this historical element of the city.

Due to the rising need for vehicle traffic in recent years and the transformation of urban spaces, the spatial quality of the new bridges gradually deteriorated, and their function became limited to merely linking two destinations. As a result, the city witnessed a lack of historical identity, a distinctive aesthetic and functional character in designing new bridges.

Isfahan is a city in central Iran known for its unique historic Iranian architecture and urban bridges. The bridges have been constructed since the 16th century across the Zayandehrud, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau. By the time Isfahan had been designated as the capital of Iran, building bridges became an essential component of the urban expansion and landscape to facilitate social interactions and cultural events. 

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