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  • One of three ways to reach Louis Vuitton Island Maison on this Singapore island, this bridge creates an experience before shoppers even step foot inside.
  • Connecting White Sox fans from the stadium to the Chicago Sports Depot on game days, this bridge reinforces the connection between the team and the merchandise.
  • Bringing the eye up from below is a hanging bridge of oiled planks and rope handrails on the top floor of Intersport Stahle in Bad Durhaim, Germany.
  • A yacht flybridge is among the focal elements that orient shoppers in the 50,000 sf West Marine in Fort Lauderdale. It beckons gadget-seeking boat owners from the entrance.
  • This pergola structure adjacent to a reflecting pool resembles a bridge, while peekaboo views of patrons of the Scarpetta Dining Pavilion make it the "place to see and be seen" in Toronto.

While store design may seem a far cry from bridge construction, we can’t help but be inspired by bridges. Their engineering feats alone stimulate ideas about new ways to accomplish goals. Witness amazing vernacularfloatingcable, and suspension bridges, the water-splitting Moses Bridge, or theelectronic skin under development. But it’s what a bridge represents that transports us to the creative realm: a journey from one place to another … a connection between disparate elements … a passage to a new state of mind … a reflection on what lies between … a necessary means to an end … a gateway into the unknown. 

Their influence can be seen in this winning entry in the 2011 Canstruction contest, in Apple’s San Francisco store, and in the projects shown here.

Retail thrives under the NYC Queensboro Bridge and in association with the Golden Gate Bridge.Look at the bridge features in these stores, ponder the questions we raise, and see what connections you can make in your projects. But don’t copy something you see here — make it your own. Cuz, you know, if your friends all jump off a bridge …