1502: Golden Horn Bridge Design
Innovation: Golden Horn Bridge Design
By: Leonardo da Vinci
In 1502, Leonardo da Vinci designed a bridge which was to extend across the “Golden Horn” waterway, which separates Europe and Asia, in present day Istanbul. Sultan Bayezid II sought a design to construct the first bridge at the time for the Golden Horn waterway, but rejected Leonardo da Vinci’s design because he worried that the design was not feasible to construct. If the bridge were to be constructed at the time of design, it would have become the longest bridge in the world at 240 m long and 24 m wide. Leonardo proposed to construct the bridge utilizing: the pressed-bow, parabolic curve, and keystone arch.  In 2001, a smaller version of the bridge was constructed by contemporary artist, Vebjorn Sand, near Olso, Norway. This marked the first civil engineering project to be constructed based on Leonardo da Vinci’s original sketch. This bridge was produced as part of the Leonardo Bridge Project and was constructed using laminated wood and stainless steel.  This illustrates the principal that often times design supersedes society’s ability to engineer the concept until technology becomes available. In this way, both new and ancient technology are combined through the Golden Horn Bridge.