Vibration serviceability of National Gallery Singapore skybridges

The National Gallery Singapore is a conversion by studioMilou architecture (Paris) of “two of Singapore’s most significant heritage buildings – the former Supreme Court and City Hall – into one major regional institution dedicated to modern and and contemporary visual arts”.
The conversion cost S$530 (about £250m) and the building (Figure 1) was opened to the public on November 24th 2015.

Full Scale Dynamics Ltd (FSDL) evaluated the vibration serviceability of the two sky bridges crossing the atrium between the two buildings (Figure 2). Antonino Quattrone and James Bassitt from the Vibration Engineering Section joined FSDL to collect data for the EPSRC research project ‘synchronisation in dynamic loading due to multiple pedestrians and occupants of vibration-sensitive structures’ (EP/I029567/1 and EP/I031031/1) .

The testing involved a range of pedestrian loading scenarios with up to 100 pedestrians (Figure 3), including contraflow and studying the perception of moving and standing pedestrians and the effect of music (by Daft Punk, Beastie Boys and Stardust). On the second day, with the building pre-opened to 12,000 members of the public, a group of dancers was engaged to check induced vibration levels.

The measurements used a set of small 12 wireless inertial measurement units, which also enabled indirect measurements of ground reaction forces. For example, Figure 5 shows vertical acceleration on the body of a single person jumping at half the bridge’s first natural frequency and Figure 6 shows the bridge’s response build up and free decay. These data allowed estimation of modal mass, damping ratio and natural frequency.

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