All images © Santiago Calatrava LLC
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been commissioned to design three landmark bridges in the rapidly expanding Chinese city of Huashan. Located in the province of Hubei, the crossings will facilitate cars, pedestrians and cyclists across the city’s newly-constructed Yangtze River Canal. The trio of steel spans — called ‘xihu’, ‘xianbi’, and ‘lincong’ — are carefully integrated with the existing pedestrian and bicycle network through a series of stairs and ramps. These routes also provide key access points between the road and the promenade pathways at canal level.
The ‘xianbi bridge’, the central crossing, is 129 meters long with an arch soaring to a total height of 42.3 meters. The design incorporates two traffic lanes with a support structure in the center, creating a characteristic void. The westernmost ‘xihu bridge’ has been conceived with a single arch, and is connected via a platform of inclined corrugated cables. It is 102.7 meters long and the tied arch reaches 20.4 meters. Finally, the ‘lincong bridge’ has two arches inclining outwards, reaching 118 meters in length.
‘Architecture is one of the art forms best able to improve and revitalise cities both artistically and functionally,’commented Calatrava. ‘The Huashan project is a clear example of how an urban element, key to the successful growth of the city, can at the same time improve the quality of life for its citizens, thanks to an integration of all three bridges and the creation of boulevards on the banks of the canal.’
Construction work is expected to begin in late 2016.