Sunday20 August 2017

Martin Knight and Zaha Hadid square up for Chinese bridges

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Architects are only European finalists in bridge quartet contest

Zaha Hadid and Knight Architects are squaring up over a major bridge design contest in China’s third largest city.

The two practices are the only European firms to be named as finalists in the Guangzhou Bridges Design Competition.

They are both shortlisted for the same two road bridges across the Pearl River in the southern city. The two, Jaingwan and Hayin, make up half of a package of four crossings which the city wants to improve.

ZHA is also in the running for a third bridge, Liede.

Each bridge has a shortlist of three practices lined up for the work, with the brief allowing for proposals ranging from minor upgrades to complete rebuilding.

The other finalists are Chinese. ZHA and Knight have both teamed up with local firms, ZHA with TY Lin Engineering Design  Research Institute and Knight with Shenzhen Shantian Architectural Design Co.

Jaingwan and Hayin are 800m apart in an area of the city planned for recreation. While the existing riverside is well used, the bridges are currently not well connected to the pedestrian promenade and Knight’s plan for both bridges is to improve pedestrian and cycle links to the riverside to create a circuit from which people can explore the river.

Its proposal for the 1997 Jiangwan Bridge would see undulating, orbital shapes with a pearlescent white skin attached to the deck, providing resting points at the piers. The walkway diverges from the main alignment, sweeping across the river to create an enjoyable new path along the riverbank.

Its proposal for the 1988 cable-stayed Haiyin Bridge involves two intersecting “waves” forming a new pedestrian link to the riverside. One solid wave forms the primary structure of the bridge, shielding pedestrians from the traffic behind, while the other is formed from reflective scale-like cladding, reflecting the light.

The winners are due to be announced towards the end of February, after Chinese new year.



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