Chasm-spanning bridges designed to reflect natural beauty
Those with a head for heights and an eye for breathtaking scenery could do worse than consider a trip to Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China, in the near future. Already home to the world's longest glass bridge, the area is due to receive a number of reflective bridges and pavilions that aim to offer the experience of floating in mid-air.
The project will be located in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site with remarkable pillar-like rock formations that served as inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in the 2009 movie Avatar.
France's Martin Duplantier Architectes got the nod for the project following a competition seeking ideas for a new visitor route. Working alongside Daqian Landscape Architects, the firm plans three bridges and a like number of pavilions.
One bridge takes the form of an elliptical disk, with an off-centered hole covered by a net that allows fearless types to lay down in the void. Another has two levels, with the lower one promising visitors the opportunity to sit or lie down and feel like they're floating in mid air.
The third bridge seems a bit more complex and will include 2 cm (0.8 in) of water on black stone to create a reflective effect. Spray nozzles will also create artificial clouds.
The pavilions will be installed in three levels: a 360 panorama at the highest point, a cafe below, and a VIP suite below both which will allow visitors to spend a night in the park.
Martin Duplantier Architectes told us that the project is going ahead and that surveys are currently being carried out. Construction is expected to be completed in 2018 and the estimated budget is €5 million (roughly US$5.3 million).
Source: Martin Duplantier Architectes