THIS IS NOT (only) A BRIDGE
The bridge is architecture over the water, a room of the city floating over the river, full of activity, instead of a mere jump across. The interpretation of the context, composed by references to the Chinese tradition and to the physical conditions of the surroundings, together with the expression of the structural behavior, will generate the design of the bridge.
Learning from the marvelous bridges in the water town of Zhujiajiao, or the delicate gardens in the city of Suzhou, we decided to link both sides of river with a path whose bent axis integrates the flows of access and visually emphasizes the location of the site. The structural load and span ratio recommends the use of a metallic truss, which is activated three-dimensionally in order to resist the extreme torsion originated by its irregular form.
The different supporting conditions on the concrete ramps symbolize the spatial contrast existing between the two riversides. The bridge has a simple support onto the transversal north access, which lands over a narrow and busy street. On the contrary, the south end of the beam is rigidly connected to the longitudinal slope that opens to the square, wide and calm. The asymmetric elevation of the bridge and the gradual density of structural elements are the translation of the diagrams of resulting stresses, which we solve trying to optimizing the amount of different components.
The faces of both the roof and deck are covered with wooden skins, whose contrast with the open section of the white steel profiles makes the structure to appear lighter. During the day, the wooden roof contains the projection of the rays of the sun bounced from the water and, during the night, it acts as a large lamp that illuminates the river.