Slinky springs to Fame


The Frankfurt artist, who mixes art, architecture, and design, has taken an existing project and adopted it as his own. For the EMSCHERKUNST.2010 show he has constructed a new footbridge over the Rhine-Herne-Canal near Schloss Oberhausen and worked closely with the Stuttgart engineering firm of Schlaich, Bergermann and Partner. To leave room for container ships on the Rhine-Herne-Canal, the bridge had to be then meters high – an unusual height. This was achieved by designing serpentine pathways for both sides of the canal, so that the entire bridge measures more than four hundred meters long.

The foot and cycle bridge ‘Slinky springs to fame’ across the Rhein-Herne Channel connects the ‘Kaisergarten’ imperial gardens at Oberhausen Castle with the cycling and walking trails of Emscher Island. The bridge is both a crossing location and an accessible work of art. The name ‘Slinky springs to fame’ is derived from the American toy ‘slinky’, the ‘walking spring’.

Visually, the bridge is like a coloured ribbon reaching across the shipping channel, encased by a gigantic spiral. In accordance with the original concept of the artist Tobias Rehberger, a total of 496 spiral windings with a diameter of five metres each embrace the bridge along its entire length of 406 m. The structure consists of two wound bridge ramps on either side, with an easily manageable incline of six percent, and a main bridge consisting of three bays of 20, 66, and 20 metres to allow ships passing underneath.

The engineers at schlaich bergermann & partner decided on a stressed ribbon bridge structure to realise the desired appearance of weightlessness and agility conveyed in the artistic concept. Two mass-reduced, parallel metal ribbons made from high-strength steel support three bridge bays all the way to the outer V-shaped supports near the water’s edge.

The pathway of the bridge is just about 2.70 meters wide and is rhythmicized by alternating colour fields, which consist of sixteen different colour shades forming a code. Additionally, the bridge is illuminated at night. The result is an architectural sculpture that provides an experience of a dynamic mobile space.

Visitor information:

Slinky springs to Fame is situated at Oberhausen’s public park Kaisergarten and it leads across the Rhine-Herne-Canal.  The bridge is accessible at all times and it is illuminated at night.

Adress: Konrad-Adenauer-Allee 46, 46049 Oberhausen
GPS: 51.4931276, 6.8584085,18