This publication presents UNStudio’s Erasmus Bridge, a large-scale infrastructural project in Rotterdam that saw innovative use of digital files as tools for design and sites of communication.
The City of Rotterdam commissioned UNStudio, led by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, to design a bridge over the River Maas in 1991. The challenge of the project was to engage the infrastructural constraints and scale with a design commensurate with the project’s civic and public significance. The architects collaborated using digital 3D computer-aided design and manufacturing models transferred between a team of engineers and construction contractors. A constant exchange of 3D files made the digital material the site of dialogue: the AutoCAD file was the point of departure for design, engineering and manufacturing. For example, a staircase for the bridge landing designed in AutoCAD was translated to a printed construction drawing, studied and annotated by City engineers and then returned to the architects.
As part of a multiyear project that includes three exhibitions on twenty-five seminal projects, the CCA and Greg Lynn are publishing a series of digital publications recording conversations with key architects. The epubs are heavily illustrated with photos, drawings, renderings, videos, PDFs and interactive 3D models.