Ronstan Tensile Architecture, an end-to-end specialty contractor of tensile architecture, demonstrated the benefits of its cable-stayed construction on the Bellevue Skybridge in Bellevue, WA. The Bellevue Skybridge functions as a lightweight, steel-framed, cable-stayed skybridge over Bellevue Way that provides easy pedestrian access between Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square.
On the east, Lincoln Square is home to 380,000 square feet of retail space, a 42-story Westin Hotel/condominium tower, a 28-story office tower, a 16-screen movie theater, restaurants, a health club and spa, and a 1,650-space underground parking garage. Bellevue Skybridge connects this mixed-use facility with Bellevue Square, a 35-acre shopping center to the west.
Since the two developments were never intended to be connected, the project team had the challenge of designing a bridge that appeared to be part of the original design. The bridge’s high visibility prompted facility owner Kemper Development Co. to request a thoroughly modern, transparent design, while the City of Bellevue Planning Department wanted the structure to be accessible from the street level and convenient for pedestrians.
Factoring in these requests as well as the need for a corrosion-resistant installation, Seattle-based Sclater Partners Architects worked with Ronstan Tensile Architecture to design a low-maintenance, expertly engineered cable solution that would reduce and even eliminate the need to repair or paint the cables over time. Additionally, Ronstan’s stainless steel cables were an ideal choice to provide a sturdy structure above the 107-foot span.
“I specifically wanted to use Ronstan’s cables for Bellevue Skybridge,” explains Rick Deno, project designer with Sclater Partners Architects. “Ronstan creates terrific-looking projects – just the kind of detailing needed for this application.”
Ronstan Tensile Architecture was contracted to meet tight specifications in its supply of the structural stainless steel mast cables. Ronstan’s ACS3 structural cable system creates a spidery, “tree-like” design that accentuates the minimalist cable-stayed design, optimizing both structural and aesthetic performance. The cable system also helps to prevent vibration and movement as pedestrians cross the 11-foot-wide bridge.
“The whole team is very pleased with the outcome,” Deno concludes. “All Ronstan’s tensile components are beautifully made, function perfectly and designed to last a lifetime.”
The efficiency of the cables, the perceived lightness and translucency of the canopy, and the slender lines of the masts and deck all combine to make Bellevue Skybridge a structure of unique elegance and function.
Additional project team members for the Bellevue Skybridge include general contractor Skanska USA Building, Inc. (Seattle), and installer Northwest Wire Rope (Tacoma, WA).