|Deck Truss CRC|
|Cable Stayed CRC|
And thus, for example, we get office buildings that are more than just square boxes:
|Hearst Tower NYC|
Apartment and condo towers also have this quality. Part of the selling point to any apartment or condo is the aesthetics of the building itself:
|Calatrava's Concept for Condo Tower in Manhattan|
|Seattle Public Library|
|Milwaukee Art Museum|
Since there is no real market for aesthetics we cannot know what the optimal level of aesthetics for such a project is. It is quite possible (perhaps likely?) that the simple deck truss is the right option for a bridge that is not in the middle of Portland. If we had to remake the Marquam Bridge downtown I suspect there would be overwhelming sentiment for something beautiful in its place.
As for me I am not sure how much I would be willing to pay for a beautiful CRC - a little perhaps but not a lot. The bridge is not in a place where I see it much and when I do it is for utilitarian reasons (I am driving over it). But I would imagine that the city of Vancouver would have a much more interested population as it is going to be a permanent part of the scenery. Which is probably why there was enough momentum to choose a reasonably beautiful design for the new Tri-Met bridge and a less than horrible design for the new Sellwood Bridge:
Modern bridges, it seems to me (knowing nothing about bridge building), require much less structure and so there are fewer opportunities for design elements to be incorporated. I am thinking now of the Golden Gate Bridge which is beautiful in both structure and design, but the design elements are almost incidental to the structure itself. By this I mean that you had to design the towers and the rest somehow so there were ample opportunities to add design elements and as such it was a minor part of the overall construction budget. Without as much structure upon which to add design elements, the design of the structure itself is now pre-eminent:
|Puente de Alamillo-Calatrava|
|The publicly funded Portland Building|
Actually, I have to admit, I still like the Portland Building - it is anything but boring and makes downtown just that much more fun and quirky.