The task of a student competition launched by the CRC/TRR280 was to design a foot and cycle path bridge from Dresden's Ostragehege to the opposite side of the Elbe. As this area is a protected nature reserve and flood plain, the students were asked to design the bridge in an environmentally friendly way. In addition, they had to ensure a sensible connection to the existing network of paths and public transport. So what could a new Elbe crossing between Ostragehege and Altpieschen in Dresden look like? 38 students from four different universities (TU Berlin, BTU Cottbus, HTW Dresden, Technische Universität Dresden) tackled this question. A team from the Technische Universität Dresden came out on top with its design for a circular ring beam suspended on one side for this location. The jury emphasised the architectural quality of the structure, which represents an enrichment for the location and significantly increases mobility for pedestrians and cyclists through the clever connection to the Pieschener Ufer. Second and third place went to designs by the TU Berlin, which envisage a two- and single-span cable-stayed bridge to cross the Elbe.
The winners (Niklas Blume, Robin Pierer, Philipp Scheffler and Franz Weinert) could now look forward to a trip to a European conference close to their field and took part in the footbridge conference 2022 from 07.09.22 to 09.09.22 in Madrid.
After a sightseeing programme, including the Puente Monumental de Arganzela and the Santiago Bernabeu, the students started on Wednesday 07.09.22 into a very intensive and impressive conference. Renowned bridge builders gave insights into their work and approaches to designing bridges. Cities are subject to constant change and it is very important to convince with sensible and attractive designs, especially for pedestrian bridges. In addition to the numerous excellent lectures, the students made intensive use of the opportunity to talk to other participants and lecturers, to deepen their knowledge and to take new inspirations home with them.
Overall, the trip to Madrid was an unforgettable experience and an excellent prize for the student bridge competition!