The Zhe Zhi Bridge is a dynamic transportation nexus and an important link at the center of a 565-acre development in Chendgu, China. The bridge reflects the important interrelationship between the surrounding development and the network of lakes and rivers that define the region.
The bridge, designed by Wil Carson during his time as Senior Designer at MMA, simultaneously addresses vehicular circulation, pedestrian movement, and architectural structure. Its corrugated figure enables an unprecedented clear span of 250 feet, and the design accommodates the needs of many different users and creates a rich, multilayered experience for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Across the length of the span, the bridge frames continuously change perspective views out to the landscape and community beyond, with the bridge fanning outward on its southern terminus and narrowing at its apogee. Viewed from beneath, the trajectory of these parallel arches diverges to create narrow openings that expose the sky above.
Perforations in the bridge reflect structural logic and form, providing structural continuity where it is most important and increasing the degree of perforation where structural stresses are reduced. This articulation reduces the overall mass of the bridge and creates a highly optimized, integrated structure that responds to the bridge’s structural and aesthetic expectations.