1st prize in international design competitionShizimen Business District in Zhuhai, China
The Shizimen bridge, also known as the Infinity Loop bridge, isthe largest of the five proposed new bridges providing accessto the new Zhuhai Shizimen central business district acrossthe Shizimen canal and is scheduled to complete in 2014
The essential challenge to architects and structural engineers was to respond to the constraints and opportunities presented by the site with a suitable structural concept, form and materials, while also creating a landmark for the new urban development.
The resulting design uses conventional materials and technology to create a structure that transcends the utilitarian requirements of typical infrastructures.
The primary structure of the bridge is formed by a single, continuous, undulating ribbon of steel. The ribbon wraps around and over the bridge deck forming sculptural arches that provide cable stay support for the road deck as it crosses the 300 metre-wide canal opening. As well as three lanes of traffic in each direction, the bridge also caters for pedestrian and cycle paths on either side.
Both pedestrian and cycle paths are a lower level to provide vehicular traffic a more open view from the bridge, while at the same time creating a visual and sound barrier between pedestrian and cycles routes and road traffic.
The deck is supported from the arches by cables attached at both edges for the main span, and at one edge for the smaller span. Piled foundations provide support to the structure at each arch.