This project operates as infrastructure, bridging the main road that dissects the site. It channels visitors from the plaza at the entrance where they congregate and orient themselves, plotting their direction. Their path over the bridge ascends 7m, offering vantage points from which to view the International Horticultural Expo in its entirety.
Bridge design often has two lanes: one for incoming and another for outgoing traffic; however in this case, the flows are uneven and change throughout the day. Inspired by rush hour escalator traffic in London’s Underground stations, the bridge was conceived with three lanes. The middle lane can switch directions from incoming in the morning to outgoing later in the day. These three bands read as interwoven braids, and together with the surrounding trellis roofed structure give the appearance of bands of landscape peeling off and rejoining the mass at the end of the journey. Between the three bands are green areas and a water feature for visitors to stop, rest and enjoy the view. Above, an open steel trellis structure forms a shading device that is intended to become naturally overgrown with climbing plants, thus forming a green roof and reinforcing the theme of the Expo to distant onlookers. The lightweight roof has been developed together with Arup’s engineers as an innovative structure that appears to float in space.
TYPE_Exhibition, Infrastructure, Public
CLIENT_City of Xi’an
PROGRAM_Bridge and Entrance Pavilion
AWARDS_Wallpaper’s Best Building Site 2011, This Decade of Architecture in China 2000-2010
PARTNER IN CHARGE_Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Ulla Hell