MVRDV design Dawn Bridge near Shanghai as a centre for social activity

The vertical alignment of Dawn Bridge defines a sense of lightness and elegance, and our aim was to provide a graceful low curve above the river that also blends with the landscape
– Wenchian Shi, MVRDV partner

Plans have been revealed for an 80m-long river crossing in a historic Chinese town, designed by Dutch architects MVRDV as “a landmark for fostering daily life and social activities”.

The firm has won a competition for the Dawn Bridge project, which will connect the old town of Zhujiajiao, near Shanghai, with new residential developments.

Conceived as a 24m-wide dual crossing for vehicles and pedestrians, the bridge will be separated along the centre by a tridimensional structure that blocks air and noise pollution. It will support a grandstand and a viewing platform, from which people can gather and look downriver towards the 16th century Fangsheng Bridge and the surrounding ancient architecture.

The bridge has been planned to integrate with the river and to the network of canals that form and identify Zhujiajiao, while stimulating activities along the waterfront.

The design means that supporting columns, which would block the flow of the river, are not needed.

To provide clear pathways along the riverfront, the landings at either end of the bridge will become both staircases for people to cross over, and stages for social activities.

MVRDV’s design establishes a relationship with the delicate surroundings by “absorbing the contextual palette of colours and materials”.

Traditional grey roofs are recalled by the grey asphalt, while white walls are expressed with the prominent white bridge structure. The reddish wood used in houses nearby has inspired the pedestrian deck and landings, and the green water will be evoked in the form of trees on top of the deck.

“The vertical alignment of Dawn Bridge defines a sense of lightness and elegance, and our aim was to provide a graceful low curve above the river that also blends with the landscape”, said Wenchian Shi, a partner at MVRDV.

“Beyond blending, we wanted to create a bridge that invites public life over and around it and that is accessible to all people whether on foot or on wheels.”

Zhujiajiao Municipality is overseeing the project and completion is anticipated for 2019.

MVRDV  Shanghai  Zhujiajiao  Dawn Bridge  Wenchian Shi  Fanghsheng Bridge 
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