Menn’s bridges had to be designed for the times: “Structural Analysis found itself at the time in the transition from descriptive graphical analysis to abstract analytical statics”. (Menn, 2002) Menn worked very closely with Pierre Lardy during the beginning of his career, emphasizing the design of structures based on aesthetics and economy. Menn believed that economy, serviceability and safety of the bridge would revolve around aesthetics.
Menn has stated that an engineer achieves safety and serviceability by understanding the underlying scientific principles, but that economy and elegance are achieved through non-scientific ideas. An engineer must also have aesthetic creativity. Menn describes his bridges with abstract theoretical models which allow him to analyze bridges and find stresses and distribution of forces within the structure. Building on this framework, he is able to devise numerical calculations which can eventually be used in computer modeling of the structures.
Location: Zillis-Reischen, Switzerland
Structure: Deck Arch Bridge
Material: Prestressed Concrete Bridge
Photography: ETH Library - Christoph Ruckstuhl