14 Aerial Structures that Span Skyscrapers

Soaring above the city streets, spanning towering skyscrapers or simply providing links between buildings at lower heights, skybridges often host gardens, observation decks and even swimming pools. More than just indoor bridges, they’re spaces from which to take in views of cities around the world, from Singapore to Copenhagen.

Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Singapore

Over 650 feet above the streets, a sky park stretches between the towers of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, offering one of the world’s most spectacular infinity pools, which seems to pour over into the cityscape. The two-acre skylark also includes a garden, jogging paths, spas and ‘floating’ crystal pavilions. It’s cantilevered 230 feet at one end, twice the length of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

Copenhagen Harbor LM Project

Designed as a gateway to the city of Copenhagen, Steven Holl’s Harbor LM project features a skybridge between two skyscrapers hovering over the water. The skybridge features prow-like public deck looking out onto the harbor, painted in bright orange and yellow to reflect off the surface of the water at night.

Bahrain World Trade Center

Three skybridges studded with wind turbines connect the two towers of the Bahrain World Trade Center, a 50-floor complex soaring 787 feet into the air. The turbines provide 11%-15% of the towers’ total power consumption, and operate 50% of the time on an average day.

Linked Hybrid, Beijing

Designed as an ‘open city within a city’ oriented around pedestrians, the Linked Hybrid complex in Beijing by Steven Holl architects is a complex of shops, offices, pubic roof gardens, residential towers, restaurants, schools and more, all connected to green spaces. A multi-functional series of skybridges connects the various structures from the 12th to the 18th floors, offering access to the pools, a fitness room, a cafe, a gallery and an auditorium as well as views of the city. Say the architects, “We hope the public sky-loop and the base-loop will constantly generate random relationships. They will function as social condensers resulting in a special experience of city life to both residents and visitors.”

Velo Towers YIBD

Two skyscrapers made up of stacked and rotated volumes are connected near the apex by a 30-story-high skybridge in this project in Seoul, Korea by New York-based Asymptote Architecture. The Velo Tower skybridge includes both a protected indoor viewing platform connecting the towers, and an outdoor recreation spot with gardens and fountains.

Bridge of Aspiration, Royal Opera House, London

Decorative, functional and highly symbolic, the Bridge of Aspiration by WIlkinson Eyre Architects links the Royal Ballet School to the Royal Opera House. It’s literally the access point for ballerinas to enter the Opera House for a performance. It’s made of ‘a concertina of 23 square portals with glazed intervals’ rotating in sequence to skew in alignment, performing an appropriately graceful quarter-turn along the length of the bridge.

Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge, Malaysia

Twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 are linked by a double-decker skybridge on the 41st and 42nd floors, the highest 2-story bridge in the world. Interestingly, this skybridge isn’t attached to the main structure, but is rather designed to slide in and out of the towers to keep it from breaking. It offers visitors views of the city, and also functions as a safety devices, so tenants can evacuate from one tower into the other.

The Skybridges of New York City

Not all skybridges are built on a grand scale; New York City is full of small ones, including historic structures in Art Deco style. You just have to look up. The blog Untapped Cities has catalogued and photographed many of them, from the more modern painted ones of downtown Brooklyn to small bridges linking buildings over the city’s alleyways.

Fractal-Based Sky Habitat, Singapore

A stunning ‘sky habitat’ for Singapore by Safdie Architects will offer a swimmable skybridge on the 38th and final story between two high-density housing towers. The terraced towers offer private outdoor spaces as well as additional, lower skybridges with shared green space.

Kingdom Centre Skybridge, Saudi Arabia

The 99-story Kingdom Center is the second-tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and high-end apartments as well as a 184-foot-skybridge at the very top. The steel structure weighs about 300 tons and is 918 meters (3,011 feet) above sea level, looking out over the city.

Elevated Circular Pedestrian Bridge, China

The Lujiazui Pedestrian Bridge elevates foot traffic above the chaos of a busy intersection in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. While it’s only elevated 20 feet over the street, it provides a safe and leisurely route and a spot from which to enjoy various views of the immediate surroundings.

Davenport Skybridge, Iowa

A pedestrian cable-stayed bridge spans a busy road in downtown Davenport, Iowa, connecting a park and a casino to a courtyard and parking ramp. 50 feet tall and 575 feet long, the bridge serves as an observation deck with a view of the Mississippi River, the Centennial Bridge, and the Davenport Levee, which hosts festivals during the warmer months. It’s outfitted with kaleidoscope lighting including 228 LED fixtures and 8,036 individual lights capable of displaying various patterns.

The Sky Table, Russia

This concept serves as a sort of bridge to nowhere, an elevated structure soaring above the shorter city blocks on four colossal columns. It’s largely self-sustaining, including a recycling plant, solar panels and wind turbines as well as gardens. Though it would certainly cast some serious shadows on street life below, the idea is that it could be built above areas that are no longer suitable for inhabitation.

Skyscraper Bridge to Unify the Korean Peninsula

Could a building like this help reconnect the two Koreas? A skyscraper-bridge envisioned by Korean architects Kim Sehyeon, Lee jung Boram and Choung Yongsu aims to provide a link over the Demilitarized Zone of the Korean Peninsula, a 2.5-mile-wide buffer that has become one of the world’s most pristine ecological environments over the 50 years since it was established. The skybridge would contribute to a reconciliation dialogue and be filled with research labs, offices and meeting halls.

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