The Wuchazi Bridge creates an “infinite meandering path” over the Fu Hé river in Chengdu. The fast track for bicycle with a panoramic view from a greater height above ground and a slow path for pedestrians, which is more intimate below ground and near the water. Shortcuts connecting the two main routes allow various combinations for strolling.
URBAN CONTEXT AND DESIGN INTENTION
The bridge is designed to offer an attractive car-free pathway to cross the river which is meandering in southern direction through Chengdu, the capital city of the province of Sichuan with approx. 14 million inhabitants. Fed by several tributaries the river grows on a width of approx. 100m in the southern district Wuhou where the INFINITE LOOP is positioned. In prominent location close to the Century City New International Conference & Exhibition Center (CCNICEC) with its nearby park and mixed-use developments the bridge forms a main connection to the ample residential areas.
Being designed as three dimensional landscape element with high qualities to rest the bridge functions as extension of the cityscape and recreation area. By offering a comfortable path for green means of transport like bicycles or E-bikes and for walking by foot – strong incentives for a sustainable mobility are set, supporting a turnaround in transportation.
|Chengdu Gaoxin Investment Group
Construction Development Co., Ltd.
|Location:||Wuhou – Chengdu, China|
|Partner||ac.ka – architektur
Buschmeyer + Cai Architekten PartGmbB
|In Collaboration with:||The Fifth Design Institute of Sichuan
Architectural Design and Research Institute
Southwest Jiaotong University Civil
Engineering Design Co., Ltd .
|Teuffel Engineering Consultants|
|The Fifth Design Institute of Sichuan
Architectural Design and Research Institute
Southwest Jiaotong University Civil Engineering Design Co., Ltd .
INFINITE LOOP CONCEPT
Whereas the surrounding bridges for car traffic are cable bridges with vertical elements the INFINITY LOOP works with a horizontal gesture creating a diverse undulating landscape with valleys and peaks. Combined by a direct route with a total length of approx. 252m two main routes for passing the bridge are provided. Together they create an eight shaped figure as symbol for infinity.
The tangible continuously changing geometry is inspired by the Möbius strip, a continuous surface with only one side and only one boundary creating an endless loop. By developing this mathematically describable structure further the main conceptual, functional and structural principals of the bridge were derived.
The upper direct route is constructed as 252m long shallow arc being supported in reasonable distances to reduce span and allow for an overall slim construction. The main load-bearing structure is a v-shaped element evolving out of the arc above running into the route below. It is here, at the projected intersection of both routes where the main loads are bundled.
The undulating route is composed out of two arcs providing minimal spans and simultaneously ensuring an ideal distribution of forces. Quite naturally the seating landscape is spanned in between these arcs. Thus an overall synchronized structure is developed providing for a maximum slim and material efficient construction.
FUNCTION AND FEATURES
The upper direct route provides a fast barrier-free circulation for pedestrians and cyclists between the opposed districts of the river. The route is zoned by a half-sided roof creating a comfortable partly enclosed area which guides views down the river and filters the downtown perception in direction north. The area below the roof is intended for slow activities with seating areas surrounded by potted plants which could be implemented and rearranged seasonally.
The second route creates a landscape which is winding around the direct route on different levels – down towards the surface of the water and up again – creating a high variety of viewpoints to witness the river as well as the surrounding city. It draws the walker’s attention to the current place and time moment – “being here, now” and refers by this gesture to the tradition of Zig Zag bridges mainly known from Asian gardens. Main feature is the south-facing seating landscape close to water level. It offers a pleasant place to gather and relax.
Both routes are connected via shortcuts so that people have multiple options of passing the bridge with ample opportunity to rest and gaze over the city- and riverscape.
The high variety of routes entailing parts with inclinations make the INFINTE LOOP also interesting as sports ground e.g. as running track with a degree of difficulty having stairs, slopes and horizontal passages for a well-balanced training.