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Ice bridge collapsed, Aalto logo remains

Students of structural engineering travelled to Juuka to erect the longest ice bridge in the world.
Aalto University School of Engineering

The goal was to construct a bridge with a span of 35 metres out of ice with cellulose as a binding agent, based on Leonardo da Vinci’s design from 1502. Using textiles and pykrete, ice builders also created Candela Pavilion, modelled after the Los Manantiales restaurant in Mexico, originally designed by Spanish-born Felix Candela in 1958.

When construction began on 28 December 2012, the frosty conditions favoured the project. After temperatures rose and rain fell in the beginning of 2016, the bridge collapsed, making Candela Pavilion the main attraction at Juuka ice festival’s opening on 13 February.

140 students from various universities participated in the ice bridge project, 14 of which came from Aalto University.

– The project gave students experience in construction projects, materials technology, strength calculation and an opportunity to meet international students, said Lauri Salokangas, a lecturer at the Aalto University Department of Civil Engineering. Aalto University’s teachers were also represented by Laboratory Manager Hannu Hirsi.

– Over the week, I saw how a construction project functions and got to know the different phases projects go through. I also became familiar with the properties and mixing proportions of cellulose pykrete, our construction material, said Sami Soosalu, student of structural engineering.

– During my shifts, I controlled the personnel lift used to build the bridge deck. On cold days, I ended up operating the lift for the entirety of my three-hour shift. When it was less busy or I was between shifts, I worked with other Aalto people on a side project: an Aalto logo, Soosalu continues.

– What started as a makeshift pastime ended up as a five-metre rendition of our university’s logo. The people of Juuka gave us some good pointers and were enthusiastic about helping out.

Project Secretary Inka Finell from the Department of Art at the School of Art, Design and Architecture joined the project to see how art, science and technology combine in the construction of an ice bridge.

– I carried things around: ice skates, hockey sticks, helmets, mattresses, sheets. I also assisted in co-ordinating activities with the local people, Finell said.

– At its height, the project included over a hundred foreign students. Koli and the Ice Track seemed exotic to people from abroad and – I believe – to some of our own students as well. The design and construction were headed by the Eindhoven University of Technology. Project participants also included two other Dutch universities, Aalto University and universities from Belgium, England and Scotland.

 

Photos from the ice construction project: www.flickr.com/photos/structuralice/

For further information, please contact:

Lauri Salokangas, Aalto University, [email protected]

Hannu Hirsi, Aalto University, [email protected]

Project coordinator Heidi Tanskanen /Juuka, +358 50 4128037, heidi.tanskanen(at)juuka.fi

Assistant Professor Arno Pronk / Eindhoven University of Technology, +31625080151, A.D.C.Pronk(at)tue.nl 

 

Links:

www.facebook.com/bridgeinice              

 

Universities and partners:

  • Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
  • TU-Delft: Andrew Borgart, Peter van Eigenraam and students
  • University of Twente
  • Fontys University of Applied Sciences
  • KU Leuven
  • University of Gent
  • University of Bath
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Aalto University
  • Karelia University of applied sciences
  • The B.E. Vedeneev VNIIG, Inc., St Petersburg
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