a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension

David Altrath captures Airport Runway Extension in Portugal

 

After visiting a brutalist church in Neviges, a historic town hall in Hamburg, and a charming bamboo villa in Ibiza, David Altrath now moves on to Portugal to document the Funchal Airport Runway Extension on Madeira Island. In this latest architectural photography series, the German artist captures the complex’s large concrete bridges, its round columns and pre-stressed beams, as well as the mesmerizing sea views they frame.

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
the photographer captures the airport’s round columns and the sea views they frame | all images courtesy of David Altrath

 

 

spotlighting the new runway of Funchal Airport

 

This new project by David Altrath (find more here) documents the extension of the runway at Funchal Airport on Madeira Island, Portugal. The original length of the runway posed a constraint to the island’s development, as only small to medium-sized aircraft could land. To overcome this challenge, the existing runway was moved slightly and a bridge was built that spans a bay of shallow water and is 57 meters above sea level. The bridge, which is 1020 meters long and 180 meters wide, was designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 747. Reinforced concrete was used for the structure, with large portal frames with circular columns and post-tensioned girders supporting a bi-directionally post-tensioned deck. Direct foundations, including large concrete footings, were used wherever possible, while indirect foundations with concrete piles at depths of up to 60 m were used in areas with inadequate rock formations at the surface.

 

Altrath’s series captures the new structure, its architectural features, and the connection between the structural materiality and the natural environment, both green space and the sea. The contrast of light and shadow captured in the series gives the architecture an almost poetic character, while the tall columns and upper arches add to the imposing appearance.

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
the tall columns and upper arches of the new extension

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
the series documents the relationship between the architecture and the natural environment

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
contrast of light and shadow

concrete-bridge-airplanes-david-altrath-madeira-airport-runway-extension-designboom-full-width-01

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
the new extension juxtaposed with the sea views in the distance

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
the new bridge is 1020 meters long and 180 meters wide

concrete-bridge-airplanes-david-altrath-madeira-airport-runway-extension-designboom-full-width-03

 

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
direct foundations, including large concrete footings, were used wherever possible

a concrete bridge for airplanes: david altrath photographs madeira's airport runway extension
reinforced concrete was used for the structure, with large portal frames with circular columns

concrete-bridge-airplanes-david-altrath-madeira-airport-runway-extension-designboom-full-width-02

 

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project info: 

 

name:  Funchal Airport Runway Extension
photographer: David Altrath
location: Funchal Airport, Madeira Island, Portugal

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