A glass bridge in China by UAD
Lianzhou Qingtian Tourism Development Co., Ltd.,
Jiubei Town, Guangdong, China,
- A glass bridge in China by UAD
Of course, the design team were faced with a rather daunting challenge. This wasn’t just developing a bridge in a stunning environmental context, it also needed to respond to the conditions of Guangdong in southeast China, where summer typhoons are frequent.
The glass-bottomed suspension bridge by UAD spans the cliffs above the Huangchun River, the main tributary of the Beijiang River system in the Pearl River Basin and overlooks the largest cluster of waterfalls in Northern Guangdong. To reduce its visual impact, and also create a unique experience for visitors, the bridge is paved with three layers of 4.5cm-thick, tempered laminated glass. This ultra-clear glass has a visible transmittance of 99.15%.
The glass, the guardrails made from curved stainless steel bars, the bridge tower and the main red cables together form a built landscape that combines solid and void, modern and classical. When the designers dubbed this local landmark a “transparent corridor”, they weren’t joking, and it even gives you the idea of a dragon soaring up towards the sky. The engineering solutions adopted by the Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co. Ltd. (UAD) were also developed in response to the typhoon risk, with excellent wind resistance. The design team performed wind tunnel testing and finite element simulations to assure the safety and optimum wind resistance of the bridge. They studied the primary frequency and modes of vibration and identified specific design parameters to optimize the design of the bridge and its future maintenance.
Since its completion in January, the bridge has quickly become a new local landmark. It is a Covid-compliant attraction for large numbers of tourists, supporting the tourist industry in this area.
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That is an important goal for this project by UAD, which springs from respect for the territory and nature but also showcases the creativity and courage of architects to overcome limits, with innovative engineering techniques and materials. This way, the glass suspension bridge of UAD has been a driving force behind reviving the natural environment while helping the zone’s economic development.
Design firm: The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co., Ltd. (UAD) (http://www.zuadr.com/)
Design team: Xie Xu, Sun Liangfeng, Wang Weilong, Dong Weiwei, Wu Pu
Location: Jiubei Town, Lianzhou, Qingyuan City, Guangdong Province, China
Completion time: January 2020
Photos and video: Lianzhou Qingtian Tourism Development Co., Ltd.