The Zhe Zhi Bridge is a dynamic transportation nexus and an important link at the center of a 565-acre development in Chendgu, China. Building on the iconic profile of the nearby Ju Gong Bridge, the bridge reflects the important interrelationship between the surrounding development and the network of lakes and rivers that define the region. The bridge represents a sophisticated synthesis of movement, structure, and form for the developing community.
FOLDED FORM, SIMULTANEOUS EXPERIENCE
The bridge simultaneously addresses vehicular circulation, pedestrian movement, and architectural structure. The singular gesture of the bridge’s pleated profile, organizes automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian movement into a clear hierarchy, each passing between the bridge’s raised fins. It further provides significant structural strength through its corrugated figure, enabling an unprecedented clear span of 250 feet. The bridge design accommodates the needs of many different users and creates a rich, multilayered experience for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Similarly, as you across the length of the span, the bridge frames continuously changing perspective views out to the landscape and community beyond. At its southern terminus, the strong linear geometry of the bridge fans outward, its long, looping contrails extending into the adjacent topography. At its apogee, the bridge narrows to an impossibly thin depth of four feet, its folded profile reflected in the water below. Viewed from beneath, the trajectory of these parallel arches diverges, creating a series of narrow openings, exposing the sky above.
A MATRIX OF FORCE AND VISION
The bridge’s refined structural logic and form is also evident in the perforated patterns along the bridge’s parallel concrete fins. Taken individually, the bridge’s folded extrusions narrow at their center before cambering downward at each end. Along the fold’s surface, a high degree of force is concentrated in the slim profile at the bridge’s center. As each fin widens to the north and south, these loads become more diffuse, and are focused primarily along the surface’s downward edge. Perforations in the bridge reflect this logic, providing structural continuity where it is most important and increasing the degree of perforation where structural stresses are reduced. This articulation reduces the overall mass of the bridge and creates a highly optimized, integrated structure, that responds to the bridge’s structural and aesthetic expectations.
LOCATION / Chengdu, China
TYPE / Four Lane Vehicular Bridge with Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation
SIZE / 400′ span
ROLE / Design Architect
COST / Withheld at client’s request