RIDE THE RED DRAGON
The Lucky Knot pedestrian bridge is a considered design that reflects the cultural heritage of its location without compromising the functional imperatives of its purpose.
Fast becoming a city icon, the Lucky Knot pedestrian bridge in Changsha, China, spans the Dragon King Harbour River, providing access to public spaces in the surrounding area.
Constructed of steel finished in ‘lucky’ red, Lucky Knot bridge is 185m long and 24m high. A key project in the development of the area’s public spaces, the bridge was designed to service recreational and ecological requirements as well as support tourist activities.
The impressive structure was designed by global-firm NEXT Architects, who hold offices in Amsterdam and Beijing. Taking into account the multifaceted needs of the project, NEXT combined the Dutch team’s expertise in infrastructure and water management and the Chinese team’s knowledge of the local context to reach the final aesthetically sensitive and functional design.
"The city [of Changsha] is growing and changing rapidly. This context called for a unique gesture to inspire passers-by," said NEXT partner Michel Schreinemachers.
The design of Lucky Knot’s undulating form was partially the result of the area’s unique topography, which places amenities at multiple levels of differing heights. In order to join the river banks with the road and local parks, access pathways were created at varied junctions along the bridge’s length, providing a convenient way in and out of public spaces at all levels. While the resulting ‘knot’ design served a functional objective it is also a reflection of the Chinese artistic tradition of knotting.
“The shape of the Lucky Knot was inspired by the principle of the Mobius ring, as well as by the Chinese knotting art. In the ancient decorative Chinese folk art, the knot symbolises luck and prosperity,” says John van de Water, partner at NEXT Architects Beijing. The bridge owes its imaginative appeal to the combining of tradition and modernity.
Viewed as more than just a bridge that connects the river, Lucky Knot “connects, illuminates and entertains”, offering incredible views of Changsha and the river park at Meixi Lake as well as the surrounding mountain range. Already a landmark attraction in the city, the bridge’s LED installations also help it to come to life at night, illuminating a path that follows the contours of the Dragon King Harbour River and guiding users through the space.
“[Lucky Knot’s] success lays in bringing cultures together, and in the fusion of history, technology, art, innovation, architecture and spectacle,” claim the architects.
Client | Changsha Meixi Lake Industrial Co.
Architects | NEXT Architects
Photography | Julien Lanoo