Architecture

Beautiful timber bridge puts modern spin on traditional Chinese design

Beautiful timber bridge puts m...
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront spans 25 m (82 ft)
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront spans 25 m (82 ft)
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront spans 25 m (82 ft)
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront spans 25 m (82 ft)
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is located in a rural area of Guangdong Province, China
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is located in a rural area of Guangdong Province, China
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is topped by skylights to maximize natural light inside, though it does also have lighting installed for nighttime use
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is topped by skylights to maximize natural light inside, though it does also have lighting installed for nighttime use
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront measures 166 sq m (1,786 sq ft)
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront measures 166 sq m (1,786 sq ft)
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront features metal plates on each side of the bridge's exterior. They are used to help keep out rain and sunlight while ensuring natural ventilation inside
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront features metal plates on each side of the bridge's exterior. They are used to help keep out rain and sunlight while ensuring natural ventilation inside
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront features two observation points
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront features two observation points
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is designed to allow fishing boats to pass beneath
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is designed to allow fishing boats to pass beneath
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront began construction in March 2021 and was completed in January 2022
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront began construction in March 2021 and was completed in January 2022
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront's overall design is inspired by traditional Chinese bridges but its construction was carried out using modern methods
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The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront's overall design is inspired by traditional Chinese bridges but its construction was carried out using modern methods
View gallery - 9 images

Luo Studio recently completed an eye-catching and intricate timber bridge that's heavily inspired by traditional Chinese bridge design, but adds some modern touches too. The project serves as both a covered crossing and a viewing point in rural China.

The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is located in a cultural resort in Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province. It spans 25 m (82 ft) and its interior measures 166 sq m (1,786 sq ft). Construction on the project began in March, 2021 and was completed in January, 2022.

Though its styling references the past, its modern additions are a definite improvement and include glass skylights to maximize daylight inside (there's also lighting installed for nighttime use), plus there are aluminum plates on its exterior that are angled to protect the interior against sun and rain while still ensuring natural ventilation.

Inside the bridge proper, pedestrians can use a pair of staircases that lead up to a like number of viewing platforms. Additionally, the bridge's overall form arches to ensure fishing boats can pass.

The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is topped by skylights to maximize natural light inside, though it does also have lighting installed for nighttime use
The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront is topped by skylights to maximize natural light inside, though it does also have lighting installed for nighttime use

Structurally, the bridge is supported by three large wooden arched beams that bear its load. Hundreds of wooden sub beams, connecting rods, and other components are joined to the three beams to help support its frame and stepping board, while a rectangular roof holds the glazed skylights.

"Constructing a covered corridor on bridges has been an old tradition that dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period," explained Luo Studio. "The initial intention was to strengthen the bridge structure, resist rain and moisture, keep the wood dry and prevent it from corrosion. This project also inherits the construction wisdom of ancient covered bridges. The covered corridor enhances the overall structural stability and protects the arched wooden structure beneath from exposure to sun and rain.

"When walking slowly into the corridor space from the entrances at both ends, visitors can catch the sparkling water under the bridge through the narrow gaps between steps. As they continue to climb the bridge, the bright light refracted by the upper and lower metal plates attract them to look out through the side gaps. Such a special 'collected' viewing experience distinguishes this timber bridge from other open bridges."

The Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront was created as part of a government initiative to help revitalize the area. Indeed, the Chinese government is keen to mitigate the effect of the country's rapid urbanization by revitalizing smaller villages, resulting in many other head-turning projects installed in rural locations, such as the Mountain House in Mist, Treewow Villa O, and Hex Key House.

Source: Luo Studio

View gallery - 9 images
2 comments
2 comments
vince
It looks cool from inside but outside it looks clunky and fat and not so beautiful as claimed.
Smokey_Bear
I disagree with Vince, the inside is nice, but the outside looks amazing. The lighting helps tie it together. very nice.