Santiago Calatrava LLC has been commissioned by the Hubei United Investment Group to design three landmark road and pedestrian bridges in the rapidly expanding city of Huashan in the People’s Republic of China. Huashan is situated approximately 20 km east of Wuhan in the Hubei province. The recent construction of a canal, which connects two feeder lakes of the Yangtze River, and a new waterside city centre generates the requirement for new bridges over a 0.75 km stretch of the canal. The bridges permits vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle access across the canal.
The sculptural appearance of these arch bridges generates a striking contrast within the landscape. The urban planning of the new buildings surrounding the abutments provides carefully developed set-backs to truly appreciate the aesthetical quality of these iconic structures. The integrated designs include stairs and ramps in order to provide pedestrians and cyclists several access points from the road level to the promenade pathways at the canal Level.
The most westerly bridge, the Xihu Bridge consists of a single inclined arch leaning outwards from the deck, connected via inclined cables to a ribbed steel deck. The Xianbi Bridge is to be the centrepiece of the bridge family, located between the other two bridges. It is a single span arch bridge which incorporates curved (on plan) road decks outboard of the arched support structure to form a feature voided space. The most easterly bridge, the Licong Bridge consists of two inclined arches leaning outwards from the deck, connected via inclined cables to a steel ribbed deck. All three bridges feature the unique pedestrian stepped arches, thereby allowing users to cross the canal directly from the lower level.
Careful design consideration has been given to the spaces around and beneath the bridges and along the 1.5 km boulevards either side of the canal. These spaces have been formed to be part of a shopping boulevard on the northern bank, and provide accessible relaxing zones which are enhanced with unique lighting concepts and indigenous soft landscaping.
The materialisation also links the bridges together, so it will be recognizable that there are not only three independent bridges solely serving traffic needs, but that the whole ensemble is seen as one unique holistic project.
Wuhan, Hubei Province of the People's Republic of China