WXY designs helix-shaped pedestrian and cycle bridge for a more experiential crossing
Located where five rivers converge, the historic Chinese city of Xinjin has long
been exalted by poets for its natural beauty, attracting many residents and
visitors over the years. WXY's design inspiration for the Nanhe River Landscape Bridge incorporates intertwining spans and is inspired by Xinjin’s breathtaking landscape and rich history while creating an iconic structure befitting the city’s role as an economic center and cultural destination.
Functionally, the Nanhe River Landscape Bridge is designed to accommodate
one path for pedestrians and another for bikes. The two paths offer pedestrians and cyclists different perspectives and varying vistas along their scenic journey across the structure.
The Bridge’s complex form is elegantly derived from the linear extrusion of a
simple steel box girder. The two separate paths are both supported by five sets of splayed columns which simultaneously reduce the amount of steel required and strike a dramatic profile on the river. This economical configuration allows longer spans between column bays, minimising the structural footprint on the river and leaving a wide berth for boats passing below.
For many residents and visitors, the riverfront esplanades on both sides of the river provide important places to view and access the water amongst trees and plantings. Springing seamlessly from these existing esplanades, the intertwined spans of the Nanhe River Landscape Bridge extend the park-like experience across the river itself and offering ever-changing views of Xinjin and the Nanhe River.
The meandering paths encourage a more relaxed and visually interesting crossing of the river – in effect, making what might normally be a piece of infrastructure into a place where the primary elements of Xinjin’s landscape – the hills, the river, the many lights of the city – can be