In a celebration of the regions history using and crafting with bamboo, Mimesis Architecture Studio, has designed this bamboo-lined bridge in China's Jiangsu Province.
The Wuxi Harbour Bridge allows pedestrians, cyclists and cars to cut a curving course across Lake Taihu in Dingshu Town. The structure stretches almost 100m across the water and is embellished with a range of bamboo-inspired features.
The bridge's steel structure forms a series of triangular frames that are lined with a lattice of carbonised bamboo poles – a charring process that maintains the form and texture of bamboo while guaranteeing durability. Each of these bamboo trellises is designed to be removed and replaced when necessary.
The architects, who are based at Southeast University in Nanjing, made the effort to incorporate bamboo into a range of the bridge's features. The concrete edges to the bridge's walkway have been embossed with bamboo canes to imprint the texture onto the surfaces, giving a textured feeling to an already activated space.
Bamboo nets are installed within the structure to ensure low maintenance cost, as well as lightweight and transparent visual effects. These nets are produced with carbonised bamboo, preserving the original form and texture — meanwhile, guaranteeing better outdoor ‘weatherability’ and structural stability.
The twisting shape of the steel forms an archway under which pedestrians and traffic can pass and are described by the architects as “clasping arms” through which travellers pass through.
During the construction of the bridge, there was a collaborative effort between local bamboo craftspeople and the steel construction team to position and install the trelliswork.