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Wooden bridge spans traditional and contemporary design

“This project is systematic in its structure and rigorous in its detailing. The interior steps, railings and structure are carefully detailed and create a welcoming experience as one enters and crosses the bridge,” Jose Herrasti, Judge.

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.

Design highlights

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.

{{1821139 - Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront}}

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

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