18 July 2013

Art deco in international orange

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world's largest examples of the art deco style. The famous suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. 

Joseph Strauss was chief engineer in charge of overall design and construction (1933–1937) of the bridge project. However, because he had little understanding or experience with cable-suspension designs, responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts. 

Joseph Strauss' initial design proposal (two double cantilever spans linked by a central suspension segment) was unacceptable from a visual standpoint. 

JS' initial design

The final graceful suspension design was conceived and championed by New York’s Manhattan Bridge designer Leon Moisseiff.

Manhattan Bridge by ScarlettElla

Irving Morrow, a relatively unknown residential architect, designed the overall shape of the bridge towers, the lighting scheme and art deco elements – such as the tower decorations, streetlights, railing and walkways.

International orange – #C0362C

Rejecting carbon black and steel gray, Irving Morrow selected the famous international orange color because it blends well with the span's natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the warm colors of the land masses in the setting as distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea. It also provides enhanced visibility for passing ships. 

The distinctive orange color was originally used as a sealant for the bridge. The US Navy had wanted it to be painted with black and yellow stripes to ensure visibility by passing ships.

Art deco after dark by Jase Wells

Caught some intense sunlight on the GG by ℙαґḯṧḯ℮ηηε

GG detail by Christopher Hall

GG lamp and cable by Christopher Hall

Golden Gate Bridge - holga by Laura Shindollar

Hot metal deco by bradman334

Middle point by TVL1970

Superstructure by Stephen von Worley