10 DESIGN and Buro Happold have won the international design competition for the key signature gateway bridge for the new Shizimen Business District in Zhuhai, China.The feature bridge is the gateway entry to south China’s new planned commercial hub and also marks the connection of the Shizimen Canal to the Pearl River Delta. Working together in one of their first collaborations the 10 and Buro Happold team set out to create a simple and elegantstructural solution for a bridge that would be a visual focal point both within the Shizimen District itself and along the Pearl River Deltacoastline.
The winning bridge scheme proposes anundulating ribbon of structure that wrapsaround the 6 lane road deck in a continuoussculptural loop form. At low levels the loopcradles the road deck, with the structuralribbon then soaring upwards to create 2triangulated arch forms.
These triangular gateways, one primary andone secondary, then support the road deckover 2 separate distinct spans via suspensioncables. The primary triangulated gate issome 100m in height and by diagonallycrossing the deck of the bridge celebratingnot only the crossing of vehicular andpedestrian traffic, but also the meeting pointof the canal with the Pearl River Delta.
The continuity of the loop structure is visiblefrom the opposite mainland shoreline to thewest, and appears as a dramatic free standinginfinity loop.
Complex coastline conditions created an oddand asymmetric span, however we realizedthat by tying 2 simple parabolic archestogether in a single ribbon form we could splitthe bridge into 2 simpler spans. Therebykeeping a rational structure while making astrong formal statement, in that the bridgewhen reflected off the water created a double8 figure, a sign of prosperity in Chineseculture.As well as the gateway bridge the team wasalso placed 2nd & 3rd in the competition for