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Bridges to Prosperity, bridge under construction in Rwanda

Engineering experiences

Design for better living


What makes a truly great building or piece of infrastructure? Think of the best stations, bridges, airports, galleries or concert halls and often what strikes you is how they look, not how they’re made. But the hidden hand of engineering and design is always there, shaping your experience. In the latest Arup Design Book, Total Design over time, you’ll discover how inspiring design and engineering work shapes our lives and communities.

Design for all

Good design should benefit everyone. This principle underlies the clever design of the Singapore Sports Hub – a 55,000 seat stadium whose moveable seating tier allows the venue to change scale to suit any event, sporting or cultural. A retractable ultra-lightweight roof makes it possible to control the air, light and shade too, meaning that it's the perfect spectator venue whatever the weather, time of day or event. Arup’s involvement on the masterplanning of the Sports Hub’s entire site meant we were also able to build in wider community uses right from the start.

Find out how Arup designs facilities that benefit the entire community. Learn how designing our biggest infrastructure projects is ultimately about improving the lives of the people that use them. You’ll also discover the powerful role bridges can play in transforming the economic and social fortunes of ordinary people in developing nations.

Listen to the future

Design is about imagining and creating experiences. Arup’s own SoundLab tool is a physical and virtual space that models the acoustic experience of any proposed design. It proved invaluable to the development and public acceptance of High Speed 1 in the UK, helping project leaders to mitigate public fears about the disruptive sound of the proposed faster train service.

Sometimes a small idea changes the game entirely. Glyndebourne Opera House is a world-renowned home for opera and classical music, a building where the audience listening experience is paramount. But the experience of enjoying music is not just about great acoustics, it's also the wider experience. In 1994 our engineers devised a pioneering system that uses the audience’s own body heat to move air around the space, an invisible but highly influential improvement to the way auditoriums have since been designed.

Rivers and regeneration

Working at a different scale, Arup designers, engineers, geo-technicians, acoustic experts and planners have rejuvenated Manhattan’s East and West waterfronts with a variety of smart initiatives. We reclaimed post-industrial space by the East River to create a new esplanade and eco-park. And on the West side, we’ve transformed 92 acres of landfill in Battery Park into a new park with pavilions, amphitheatre and revitalised piers. By reconnecting people with the shore and the river, we’re able to improve the city experience for people of all ages and social groups.

Want to know more?

Learn more about how engineering and design are re-shaping modern life in Total Design over time. You can download the book immediately, or order a print copy from our online store.