Sweeping Ellipse: The Rising Path, Cambridge

Architect: chadwick dryer clarke studio

Image: Richard Chivers

Sweeping ellipse

The Rising Path, Cambridge

In the summer of 2016, chadwick dryer clarke studio was invited to participate in a limited design competition held by the Botanic Garden and University of Cambridge Estates. Their winning solution which was a collaboration with structural engineers Smith and Wallwork, provides an accessible viewing platform overlooking the systematic beds, with an exhibition area below.

The Rising Path has been devised as a gently sloping path that leads off from the established path network, taking visitors through the maturing conifer collection of the New Pinetum. The interpretation hub at ground level provides engaging displays drawn from the Garden’s archives to encourage visitors to explore the Systematic Beds.

The green space enclosed by The Rising Path provides a group briefing space and area for public events. The shape of the structure is an irregular spiral developed from a circular plan. Its distortion and rotation is a result of the structure avoiding tree roots, trunks and the university’s data infrastructure. Using BIM 3D modelling from the outset, the sculptural shape developed; considering both the visual form and structural requirements: a true collaboration between architect and structural engineer.

The Rising Path Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio

The structural frame is formed from galvanized steel with principal members made from laser cut curved 10 mm plates. The curved stringer has changing radii throughout the sweeping ellipse. The 90 mm CHS columns are fixed to concrete free specialist hand driven steel pile footings. These enable the foundations to be positioned close to the trees and within the root protection zones.

The timber decking and cladding of The Rising Path is in Accoya timber, selected for its durability and stability. Accoya is modified Radiata Pine, a species which coincidentally grows adjacent to the new structure. The importance of the site, alongside the sustainability criteria for the project, meant that the choice of materials; galvanized steel and timber were of utmost importance.

Order a Free Copy of the Hot Dip Galvanizing Magazine

Architect: chadwick dryer clarke studio

Image: Richard Chivers

Posted on June 20, 2019 by Galvanizers Association

Read next…

Belize Civic Center

A multi-million-dollar civic centre constructed from prefabricated steel sections manufactured 5,000 miles away in Dorset, England has recently been completed in the heart of Belize City. Christchurch based REIDsteel has performed the structural design, detailing and fabrication, including the cladding…

Read more

Bridge over River Tweed, Scottish Borders

The new footbridge, designed by Addison Conservation and Design sits over the River Tweed. Guaranteed to be highly popular with cyclists and walkers alike, the bridge extends the Sustrans National Cycle Network between the towns of Peebles and Innerleithen, providing…

Read more

EN 10348‑2:2018 – Galvanized reinforcing steel products

The implementation of a new standard for galvanized rebar will greatly enhance the performance of many concrete structures built across the UK and Ireland. The importance of correctly protecting steel reinforcement should not be under estimated. Steel reinforcement is used…

Read more

European Patent Office, The Hague

A dramatic, slimline glass block forms the new building for the European Patent Office (EPO) in Rijswijk near The Hague. Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris and Dam & Partners Architecten, Amsterdam collaborated to design the new building that rises from the…

Read more