Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Department of Technical Sciences and Environment
Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Department of Cultural Sciences

The paper deals with the design of masonry arch bridges as a typical arch form in terms of their aesthetic appearance and the use of masonry as a building material. A survey of harmonious proportions having an aesthetic effect on the human contemplator is given. Their applicability to the design of masonry arch bridges is studied. An analysis of a total of 34 masonry arch bridges both in literature and in practical field studies is carried out. Herein, a large number of parameters is looked at among which are: height, width, breadth, form and shape of the structure, sizes of culvert and arch, crown thickness to span ratio, height of parapets, integration of the structure into the landscape and the surroundings etc. An evaluation scheme is developed which serves as a tool to judge the results of the analysis in terms of the aesthetic design of the bridges. In the oral presentation at the conference, two examples of bridges will be shown in 3-D- visualizations outlining the variation of parameters. The aesthetic appearance of the bridges is outlined in computer animations. The paper concludes with a “design formula” embracing the most decisive criteria to be taken into account during the planning and design of masonry arch bridges, both for architects and civil engineers.

Key words
Aesthetic design, proportions, 3-D-visualization