ARCHITECT FXCollaborative
YEAR 2011


The Dubai Sixth Crossing Bridge connects Bur Dubai to Deira, UAE. At 201 meters high, it will be the largest single-arch span bridge in the world when complete. This bridge is being built at the cost of four billion dirhams and will be a significant feat of engineering internationally. The bridge is 200 meters tall, 1.235 kilometers long, and 86 meters wide. It has six lanes of traffic in each direction and two track lines.

We used the crescent moon as our conceptual influence and for inspiration. The crescent moon is a significant symbol in Islam because it is the foundation of the lunar cycle. The waning of the intensity of light reflected from the bridge arch surface is synchronized with the levels of light reflected by the moon at each lunar phase. The intensity of light on the bridge arch serves as the measurement of the portion of the moon that is reflecting light at any given phase of the lunar cycle. Reflections of the illuminated arch in the water beneath the bridge complete the “circle” of the full moon’s profile.

The design goal was to create the biggest “moon-dial” in the world. Our challenge was to establish a system for controlling the change of light levels throughout the 29.5-day lunar cycle. Gradations of light were achieved by a complex switching system with multiple layers of light. We developed a separate lighting scene for each phase of the moon’s illumination, including the full, gibbous, half, crescent, and new moons. The lighting of the bridge arch returns with the appearance of the crescent moon, significant to the identification of the waxing crescent, which is the most significant phase of the moon for Islam. After the waving crescent, the arch light alternately accumulates and dissipates in sync with the rest of the moon’s phases.