At the heart of a new urban center in China’s rapidly developing Sichuan Province, the Ju Gong Bridge and Waterfront Park form a vital link at the core of a 565-acre development. At the center of an extensive network of lakes and rivers that define the organization and identity of the development, the project is an icon for infrastructure and connection within the community that seamlessly integrates architecture, infrastructure and landscape.
SYNTHESIZING STRUCTURE & MOVEMENT
Linking the development’s residential areas and commercial center, the 260-foot span incorporates two-way vehicular circulation and multiple pedestrian and bicycle pathways. These routes connect to the waterfront park areas at the bridge’s endpoints, linking the bridge with the raised landscape a network of routes along the water below. The bridge bows at its center to meet the water’s surface, simultaneously supporting the structure and creating a key connection to the adjacent bank.
AN EXPERIENCE OF REFLECTION
The bridge is more than a simple connection between one bank and another. At its center, the bridge widens to incorporate a more intimate space for gathering and rest. Incorporating seating which recalls the traditional mei ren kao, or “beautiful seat,” the bridge bows to reveal the vista beyond and provides a moment of idyllic repose above the water below. As the pathway descends to the central pier beneath the roadway, its tapered form grazes the water’s surface. These twin piers also incorporate pedestrian routes that climb from the adjacent bank to the bridge’s center, parting to form an aperture framing the structure and sky above. At night, LED light ribbons trace these braided paths, their interwoven trajectories arcing over the river.
AN URBAN NETWORK
These interwoven paths extends to the adjacent waterfront park, linking the bridge, nearby marina, cafe and new performance pavilion. Bicycle paths spiral up and around the adjacent slopes, connecting to a larger web of trails throughout the development’s 565 acres. Pedestrian pathways curve along the water’s edge, culminating at a circular pavilion for music immediately west of the bridge. Straight allees of willows descend from the pavilion to meet the river, creating a counterpoint to the meandering circulation paths beneath their canopy. Finally, rising at the western edge of the site, the cafe pavilion’s curvilinear form rises above the park to create a new vantage point of the bridge and waterfront in the distance.
LOCATION / Chengdu, China
TYPE / Public Waterfront Park with Two Lane Automobile and Pedestrian Bridge, Marina, and Café
SIZE / 1 Acre, 260′ span
STATUS / Completed 2016
ROLE / Design Architect
COST / Withheld at client’s request