China Fuzhou Jin Niu Shan Trans-Urban Connector

china_fuzhou_jin_niu_shan_trans_urban_connectorImage courtesy of LOOK Architects

China Fuzhou Jin Niu Shan Trans-Urban Connector
Gulou District, Fuzhou, China
Complete year 2017

 

A first-of-its kind elevated steel pedestrian walkway system weaving through forested areas in China, Fuzhou Forest Walkway spans over 6.3 kilometres from end to end, threading through the full breadth of Jinniushan and covers about 19 kilometres along its winding path. A signature urban connector network that provides public accessibility to indigenous hinterland stretching north-east of Minjiang, Fudao signifies an awakened consciousness to improve lives of city dwellers by bringing nature within closer reach.

 

china_fuzhou_jin_niu_shan_trans_urban_connector_002Image courtesy of LOOK Architects

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One of the greenest city in China, Fuzhou is capital of Fujian province, sometimes referred to as Rongcheng or ‘banyan city’, famed for the numerous banyan trees that line its streets. Together with mountainous geography and picturesque man-made lakes, the charm of Fuzhou’s natural beauty is undisputed. Nonetheless, accelerated urban growth has diminished the coverage of forested zones – Jinniushan is one of the larger green lungs situated within downtown.

 

china_fuzhou_jin_niu_shan_trans_urban_connectorImage courtesy of LOOK Architects

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Conveniences such as rest shelters, viewing decks, observation towers and teahouses with washroom amenities are interspersed throughout the elevated walkways, laid at a gentle gradient not exceeding 1:16 for barrier-free accessibility. An intelligent walkway network equipped with WIFI connectivity, touch-screen information boards and visitor traffic monitors, Fudao has the potential to set a new national benchmark for eco-routes.

 

china_fuzhou_jin_niu_shan_trans_urban_connectorImage courtesy of LOOK Architects

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Comprising 8 basic deck components that can be stitched together in various permutations, the walkway network is an all-terrain modular system with the capability of negotiating undulating topography. Efficient design allows for a long span of 14.4 metres between supporting columns, minimizing the construction footprint. This is an important consideration for Fuzhou municipal officials, whom has accorded top priority to the conservation of existing ecology. Use of steel grating for the walkway decks serves to bring natural light down to the ground plane, encouraging low-lying plants to thrive.

 

china_fuzhou_jin_niu_shan_trans_urban_connectorImage courtesy of LOOK Architects

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To ensure seamless connectivity, an overhead bridge straddling across an existing vehicular arterial Honggan Road has been designed, a stunning icon with a column-free span of over 72 metres. The raked profile of parapet screens serves to increase the bridge structure’s porosity, to better withstand high wind loads in the vicinity. Engaging the unique character of the existing site context, various segments of the walkway network add up to an enduring expressiveness.

 

china_fuzhou_jin_niu_shan_trans_urban_connectorImage courtesy of LOOK Architects

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The immense scale of the project has been an eye-opener and the team at LOOK Architects has found the design challenges involved most gratifying to surmount. Embracing the philosophy of bettering lives through design, the team has aspired to spread this optimism beyond our shores, and to create a positive impact on future development of the city of Fuzhou.

 

more. lookarchitects.com

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