Professor Remo Pedreschi (Programme Director, MSc Material Practice) and a multi-disciplinary team of University of Edinburgh staff and external partners have recently completed a formed concrete installation on the river Carron at Falkirk.

The original Dorrator Bridge (completed in 1893) was designed by the engineer Louis Harper. The only parts of the original bridge that now remain are the towers on each bank of the river. A new bridge, spanning the same length of river, opened in 2014.

Responding to a brief set by local community group, the Communities Along the Carron Association, the team proposed three concrete benches and a commemorative plinth, creating a stopping point on the riverbank. Etched onto the surface of the incorporated smooth concrete inserts is a depiction of the original bridge.

The finished seat uses both rigid and flexible formwork and low impact concrete mixes to reduce environmental impact and create different tones
Image: Remo Pedreschi
The finished seat uses both rigid and flexible formwork and low impact concrete mixes to reduce environmental impact and create different tones
The plinth includes laser etched concrete with a carefully designed mix to enhance the detail of the image, scanned from an photograph of the Dorrator bridge
Image: Hedda Bjordal
The plinth includes laser etched concrete with a carefully designed mix to enhance the detail of the image, scanned from an photograph of the Dorrator bridge

The project team were: Hedda Bjordal (Project Assistant and graduate from the University’s joint Structural Engineering with Architecture degree); Dale Lyon (Concrete Scotland and ESALA Knowledge Exchange Fellow); and ECA technicians Malcolm Cruickshank and Catriona Gilbert.

The same team recently completed a project at Gogarburn on the outskirts of Edinburgh in December 2016.

Remo and his colleagues have been researching novel forms of concrete construction for over 13 years. The resulting research is integrated with teaching on various programmes in Architecture and Engineering, most recently in the Material Practice MSc programme.

Remo said: “Live projects provide the opportunities for exchange and development. Students can engage with real clients, which helps them to communicate beyond their peers and understand the importance of the details of brief, decision-making and deadlines. They also provide opportunities to further research,in this case the use of cement replacements to reduce the carbon footprint (by 50-70%) and create contrasting dark and light tones in the concrete seats."


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