Shuter Street Bridge in Toronto, Canada
Since March 2011, a glass pedestrian bridge with a length of 98.4 ft has connected St. Michael's Hospital with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute research center. The supporting structure consists of several oval steel rings which are twisted together. The bridge, with a section height of 15 ft and a width of 12.4 ft, was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. from Toronto.
Gartner Steel and Glass GmbH, Würzburg, Germany
Josef Gartner USA
Chicago, IL, USA
Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc.
Carruthers & Wallace Ltd.
St. Michael's Hospital
As people in Toronto mainly use the PATH system (an underground system of pedestrian paths, extending over a length of 17.3 miles), the town could be persuaded to grant the permit only on the grounds of architectural originality. The lightness of the bridge was achieved by curved and thermally prestressed panes of insulated glass as well as curved pipes crossing each other, together forming the supporting structure; thus, the construction appears different depending on the perspective.
The bridge was designed as a statically determinate framework because of different building movements and the regulation that introducing major forces into the building structure is not allowed. The fixed point, and thus the transfer of horizontal forces, was put to the side of the old building. The cross‑section of the bridge is elliptical. The supporting tube is formed by a large number of circular, parallel lying pipes intersecting circular pipes which are lying parallel to one another in the opposite direction.
The engineers were able to design the bridge according to DIN 18800, as agreed with the local test engineer. Loading, however, was determined and taken into account in accordance with local standards.
The bridge was calculated non-linearly as a 3D model in RSTAB. As the complete construction was welded, an equivalent model was used to determine the effective stiffnesses of nodes for analyzing the deformations.
Then, the nodal stiffnesses were built as releases into the RSTAB model. Furthermore, the deformation and stress design ratio of the total structure were determined. Finally, the most critical welding nodes were designed in RFEM using the calculated internal forces.
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