Plans for an international cable car that will connect Russia and China across the Amur River have been revealed. To be designed by competition-winner UNStudio, the cross-border cable car is a world first and will act as an expression of the historical connection shared between the two countries and aims to create a social dialogue for their cultures.
The Cable Car Terminal will connect the cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe in less than 10 minutes. 12 companies were invited to partake in the competition managed by Strekla KB, who is responsible for the economic and function model of the terminal.
The cable car will consist of two lines and four cabins, each with the capacity to carry 60 passengers and luggage.
“Cable car systems provide a new form of public transport that is sustainable, extremely fast, reliable and efficient,” explained Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. “Although primarily a pragmatic solution, cable cars are also a very congenial way to travel as they enable us to see and experience our cities in a whole new way. As it crosses the natural border of the Amur River, the Blagoveshchensk to Heihe cable car will be the first cable car system to join two countries and cultures. This context provided rich inspiration for the Blagoveshchensk terminal station, which not only responds to its immediate urban location, but also becomes an expression of cultural identity and a podium for the intermingling of cultures.”
The Amur River has defined the natural border between Russia and China, however, when the river becomes frozen, it supports trade, commerce and social dialogue. The river has thus become a key point for UNStudio’s design, which will take this connection as inspiration for the organisation of the program, materialisation, spatial quality and views of the cities.
The terminal features an elevated platform in Blagoveshchensk that provides views over the Amur River towards Heihe, and from Heihe as travellers watching the arriving car, they see the Russian city. This develops a visual connection between the two cities and creates a welcoming space for visitors.
A new urban public space will act as a cultural feature for Blagoveshchensk and will connect the city to the river, providing a space for events, performances and entertainment. A pedestrian pathway will connect the public square with the Golden Mile – a stretch of golden sand along the Amur River.
The terminal building is designed to be open and welcoming, encouraging visitors to enjoy the connected spaces in a seamless movement, with clear navigation points towards platforms. The internal circulation of the terminal is reflected through the exterior, opening the cultural and commercial landscape of the complex towards the city of Blagoveshchensk.
The shape of the terminal allows for an elevated urban park to feature on the rooftop, creating a greenspace for leisure, public art and viewing. The greenspace will blend with a park that is proposed for the area between the terminal and the river, adjacent to a parking zone that will be largely covered by a green access.
Images courtesy of PYXID