The famed ‘banyan city’ of Fuzhou will see the construction of a 6.3km walkway that connects the man-made city to the surrounding forested landscape.
The Fuzhou Forest Walkway is a first-of-its-kind elevated steel pedestrian walkway system that weaves throughout forested and urban areas in the city of Fuzhou. Spanning over 6.3 kilometres from end to end, this urban connector network enables greater public accessibility to previously inaccessible landscapes and areas.
The city of Fuzhou takes great pride in being known as one of the greenest cities in China. Geographically, the area is surrounded by impressive mountainous ranges and picturesque man-made lakes. The area has, however, experienced a diminishing of natural landscapes as a result of recent urban growth.
The walkway will connect these urban developments to the natural spaces via a series of 10 bold entrances. At Xikezhan, the existing bus depot will be transformed into a food and beverage enclave, its accessible landscaped roof deck linking the adjoining “Cliff walk”, breath- taking cantilevered step platforms wedged into an existing cliff face about 20 storeys tall.
Another entrance will be located at the open plaza of the existing Jinniushan indoor sports hall. Here a spiral ramp measuring 24 metres across its diameter will be constructed, helping users navigate the transition from flat urban plain to hilly forested terrain.
Along the walkway, space has been dedicated to rest shelters, viewing decks, observation towers and teahouses with washroom amenities. The walkway is also equipped with WIFI connectivity, touch-screen information boards and visitor traffic monitors.
The LOOK Architects website described the modular walkway as “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... Use of steel grating for the walkway decks serves to bring natural light down to the ground plane, encouraging low-lying plants to thrive.
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.”
The initial demonstrative stretch will soon be opened to public with the completion of the walkway scheduled for 2018.
All images credited to ©Zhou Yue Dong