The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

NewChinaHand: A Bridge Too Far?

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Not satisfied with having started work on the world’s tallest building, developers in Changsha, Hunan province are set to build this stunning (anything-but) pedestrian bridge over the Meixi Lake in the city.

The prize-winning bridge is designed by Amsterdam-based firm NEXT architects, who also have an office in Beijing – unsurprising given the potential for work in China.

The bridge appears to have no end given its resemblance to a Möbius strip (Google it) or a Chinese knot (imagine it).

Some commentators have also likened the bridge to a Mario Kart level.

There are also some significant unanswered questions that have been raised: how about the elderly and mobility-impaired? What about cyclist, pushchairs and handcarts? And most importantly: just how long and straight is the ‘lake’?!?

Large, costly construction projects always have the potential for embarrassment in China (as in anywhere else, one would think – it’s just that China has more!). The world’s tallest building, for example, might not be the best fit for Changsha, whose population and economy is dwarfed by the giants of Beijing, Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta.

The nightmare scenario would see the tower being virtually uninhabited, following the disastrous example of the vast, but largely empty, New South China Mall in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, which is the world’s largest by gross leasable area.

The bridge, though, is the architectural equivalent of Marmite: either you love it or you hate it. Let us know, below, especially if you’ve lived or spent time in Changsha (sadly more famous recently for a deadly knife attack between street hawkers).

Also let us know your views on Marmite. Why not?

Image © NEXT architects / via www.designboom.com

Selected sources:

http://www.nextarchitects.com/projects

http://www.designboom.com/architecture/next-architects-win-competition-for-meixi-lake-bridge-11-2-2013/

http://shanghaiist.com/2013/11/11/awesome-twisting-bridge-changsha.php

http://m.scmp.com/news/china/article/1287673/china-starts-construction-worlds-tallest-building

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2259733/New-South-China-Shopping-Mall-seven-years-opened-Dongguan-China.html

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This entry was posted on March 17, 2014 by in NewChinaHand.

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