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Auburn Student Designer takes top prize at VW bridge competition

on Friday,January 15,2010 22:01

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When German automaker Volkswagen decided to build a new automotive plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, they decided that the structure needed a little touch of creativity to make the building more unique.

To help create this new landmark, the company established the Volkswagen Bridge Student Competition, an international challenge to create plans for an eye-catching pedestrian bridge that would connect the VW visitors center and the production facility at the $1 billion plant.

The competition drew design teams from all over the country, yet it was a collection of Auburn university architectural students who took home top honors with their expansive and compelling designs for a 700-foot-long bridge highlighted by an elevated tower bearing the company''s iconic insignia, according to the official press release.

"As an exercise to generate fresh, creative design ideas, the competition was very successful," says Dr. Jan Spies, general manager of project engineering with the company. "In fact, there were so many interesting ideas that many of my favorites didn’t even make the jurors list of winners, but we still intend to use those ideas as well if they work to improve the final design."

Car production may begin before construction on the bridge is actually completed, though local officials are confident that the bridge will provide another scenic landmark to the Chattanooga area.
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