Project: Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront
Award: Bridges, Gold, 2022
Location: Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, China
Architect: LUO studio
Client: Jiangmen OCT
The intricate and painstakingly constructed Timber Bridge is set in Southern China’s Gulou Waterfront – an eco-cultural tourism resort that celebrates the heritage and culture of the water villages that have stood here for hundreds of years. Dotted with fish ponds and a network of rivers and villages amongst the Banyan trees, many bridges are built here to connect the areas segmented by water. Timber bridge stands out from its neighbours by offering a contemporary interpretation of the local rural tradition of bridges constructed from timber. Only the three main beams were hoisted by large machinery. Everything else was transported through the hands of the local workers, paying tribute to traditional construction techniques.
Located between a dense traditional commercial street area and a children's recreation area, the architects created a closed corridor to accentuate the transition from the "practical" commercial area to the relatively "dreamy" children's recreation area, allowing visitors to feel a sense of ceremony in moving between the two. The exterior of the corridor space is covered by layers of metal plates, which protect it from rain and also create a sense of cohesion. Apart from the three large wooden arched beams that bear the main load of the bridge body, the structure is almost entirely made from small, wooden components bolted together to form an elaborately crafted structure visible to pedestrians and those passing underneath on tour boats.
Photo credit: Jin Weiqi
- LEAD ARCHITECT: Luo Yujie
DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION INSTRUCTION: Luo Yujie, Lu Zhuojian, Wang Beilei
STRUCTURAL CONSULTING: LaLu Structural Consulting
- CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Shenzhen Zhenhui Architectural Engineering
WOOD MATERIAL SUPPLIERS: Shengtehaosen, Kingspine-House
LIGHTING FIXTURE SUPPLIER: Meteor Shower