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THE BRIDGE IS NOT ONLY A CONNECTION BETWEEN TWO POINTS, IT REACHES OUT AND FORMS MULTIPLE LINKS TO THE LANDSCAPE OF THE ISLAND AND THE RIVER SHORE. IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT TRAFFIC, BUT ABOUT PEOPLE.
The bridge will be one of the longest paths across the Pearl River and the linkage that will tie the city together across its west end. The design originates at the intersection of opposing forces: the technical and the natural, the formal and the informal, the horizontal and the vertical. The bridge is not only a connection between two points, it reaches out and forms multiple links to the landscape of the island and the river shore. It is not only about traffic, but about people. It challenges the main direction of traffic by creating strong nodes and a pedestrian network of paths. It creates balance between contemplation and traffic. At the same time, the bridge will provide an interactive and harmonic sound as cars and people pass by via how their respective vibrations transmit energy into the ribs. Finally, Harmony Bridge provides the possibility of finding a moment of peace and solitude in the middle of Guangzhou’s dynamic urban artery. As one seeks to find harmony within oneself, and with those around you, life will turn into endless music.
Modularity and ease of construction guided the approach. In the harmony bridge, every rib is different, but is built out of the same three segments. The result is moving. The total length of the bridge will be clad on two sides with vertical ribs spaced at variable intervals from 800 mm to 2400 mm. The pedestrian pathway offers a dynamic and sensuous procession. By slightly rising and lowering in relationship to the roadway, and by moving in and out of the ribbed skin. The ribs will be constructed as composite sections, laminating two wood blades on each side of a stainless steel rib. The ribs and the promenade deck will be supported from the outer edge of the existing bridge's primary beams, using hollow steel sections in cantilever. At times, the pedestrian path will be higher than the roadway, providing a sense of seclusion. By disconnecting the pedestrian from the vehicular traffic, people are allowed to focus on the distant and echoing sounds that are orchestrated by the river and the city. The viewing platforms will allow the passersby to escape traffic and engage with the space beyond its physical limits. The deck is covered in wide wood planks, stretching out into the viewing platforms and reaching out into the landscaped rings. The top of each rib will then vibrate and sing.
The artistic lighting is recessed within the outer edge of the ribs, providing an urban sign of colossal scale. the program lighting is recessed in the inner edge. It is soft and discrete in tune with the human scale. The bridge connects the city, in its very heart. It crosses the river, a sort of liquid monument at the origin of the city's existence. It is altogether a tool at the service of movement within the city, as much as the support of flows of circulation. It enables the dynamism of urban movement. Once night falls, all these elements shape a sculpture, the bridge is metamorphosed in a grand signal at the scale of the city, inhabited by a soft and poetical pulsation. A pulsation which takes root within the urban energy of flows, altogether soothing and settling the rhythm. Crossing the river, walking on the bridge grows to be an everyday event, a soft animation, an atmosphere of sensations that brings us closer to nature and nearby water.
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