A large, bright-coloured steel feature in any environment is risky. It can easily turn out to be an eyesore or it can start feeling tired and old very quickly. But in the best-case scenario it can become a happy landmark and a destination.
In 2013, Amsterdam and Beijing-based NEXT Architects www.nextarchitects.com won the international competition to design a new pedestrian bridge in China.
Now completed, the 185-metre (606 ft) bright red steel Lucky Knot bridge crosses over the Dragon King Harbour River in the fast-growing Meixi Lake district of the 7 million resident city of Changsha in South-Central China.
The Meixi Lake district is a 6.5 million-square-metre development masterplanned by Kohn Pedersen Fox http://www.kpf.com/projects/meixi-lake, a globally operating architecture firm with offices in New York, Shanghai, London and Hong Kong.
The new bridge is a crucial part of the development of the entire river park area that has a comprehensive program covering the ecology, recreation and tourism uses of the land.
NEXT is known for creating inspired bridges and the Lucky Knot bridge has already become a local and international icon.
The architects took advantage of the different areas of expertise of their Amsterdam and Beijing offices.
The Dutch team’s expertise in infrastructure and water management and the Chinese team’s knowledge of the local context were both crucial in making the project successful, the architects have been quoted as saying.
The bridge’s wavy form is based on the Möbius strip or band that is a surface with only one side and only one boundary. The other source of inspiration for the bridge was the ancient Chinese decorative folk art of knotting, and especially the form of the Good Luck Knot.
The bridge quite literally knots together and connects many levels of road, river bank and park at many different heights.
The bridge offers fantastic views of the surrounding mountains, the river, the lake and the city. But the bridge is more than a bright walkway and viewpoint – it is also a spectacle. It has its own LED-light show that becomes part of a longer light route that follows the shores of the Dragon King Harbour River. Tuija Seipell.