On December 19th, 2020, the final review of “BRIDGING” Yongxin Old City Wenxing Bridge International Design Competition was successfully held in Yongxin County, Jiangxi Province. The competition is aiming to collect designs globally under the schemes of“BRIDGE-COMPLEX”with merits like foresight, creativity and implementation, based on the real real site environment in Heshui River’s two sides. Several renown scholars, architects, designers and architectural educators were invited as juries for the review session. After several rounds of evaluation, the result was finalized.
Final Review Site
Yongxin County © Yongxin County People's Government Website
As an important renewal zone in the “Rediscover Yongxin” Old City Renewal Plan, Yongxin Old City Wenxing Bridge International Design Competition focus on “Bridging”and with the theme of BRIDGE-COMPLEX. As the main subject Wenxing Bridge will later work as a link, connects the key locations along the river like Linjiang Building and Hunan-Jiangxi Wharf and stitches the banks of Heshui River Blocks and landscape belts when it is implemented. Therefore, the competition strives to create a new landscape, new landmark and new image of Yongxin Old City.
Hundreds of students and designers from institutions all over the world participated in the competition. 1 first prize, 1 second prize, 1 third prize and 10 honorable mentions were selected. The project The Gem - Wenxing Promenade and ZiZhen Hanging Gardens which is made by designers Dirk Krolikowski,Falko Schmitt,Yang Qiming,Austen Goodman from DKFS Architects took the lead.
The Gem - Wenxing Promenade and ZiZhen Hanging Gardens
The concept for the new Wenxing Bridge brings new and modern cultural infrastructure to Yongxin to enable citizens to enjoy and honour the outstanding history of the City and the beauty of the environment. With its elegant landmark architecture it embraces the historic past and becomes a place of the future with functions as new urban ‘Gem’ of the City that will attract global attention because of its design quality. Wengxin Bridge becomes an urban, cultural space and destination in itself with a terrace which is opening up to views over the River, the bank and the city towards the mountains. The logical urban form of the overall ensemble with the new Zizhen Hanging Gardens and the LinJiang Building embraces a modern Lifestyle on the new River Boulevard and a landscape down to the river’s edge allowing for living near the water.
The scheme not only shows the historical heritage of Yongxin Old City, but also has the contemporary forms of simplicity and elegance, which neatly makes a dialogue between the two banks. The dislocation of the roof organically connects the heaven, earth, divinity and human together.
The scheme is simple with vivid lines and reasonable structure system. In addition to the traffic function, the bridge also has a variety of functions. Its scale is suitable for Heshui River and the old city, with excellent interior light.
The scheme embodies a clear correspondence with the space of Yongxin Old City, with the combination of virtual and reality. The reality axis is the bridge, while the virtual axis connects the spatial circulation of the old street and ends with waterside steps. The contemporary interpretation for traditional architectural language of Jiangxi Province is realized through comparison of materials and construction of forms, blending of ancient and modern. Both sides of the bridgehead are transparent, and the top space is open to the sky with daylight, which adapts to local climate and fully connects with the ecological landscape pattern of near the water, inside the city and far away from mountains. The bridge space can accommodate various formats such as markets, healthiness and recreation, cultural activities, which makes Wenxing Bridge an operational “BRIDGE-COMPLEX”.
The scheme adopts concise and contemporary vocabulary, bringing Yongxin Old City to a new era. Its contemporary modeling also echoes to the traditional architectural form.
The scheme applies simple shape and brings use function into full play. It can be regarded as a bridge market, especially designing the wharf as a setback platform, which is a good place for citizens to cool off in midsummer and conductive to create a commercial atmosphere.
Yongxin Tree Bridge, based on the strong vitality of the ancient city culture and takes root in the ancient city. Starting from the xianggan wharf and crossing the heshui river, the tree of culture flows and grows in the new city on the south bank until it is luxuriant. Complex bridge function - basic bridge function: in addition to the basic bridge function, a variety of new urban functions, such as art museum, red culture exhibition hall, tea bar on the river, water curtain projection, etc., are combined to create a generator of urban life for viewing mountains, listening to water and recalling the city. The concise structural -- the bridge is based on the beam column structure, combined with the appropriate evolution of the corridor bridge object, which is not only characteristic, but also realizably structure.
The scheme skillfully deduces the traditional architectural form into a bridge, providing a space to stay except for the crossing passage.
Based on the research of urban streets and alleys, the scheme develops a unique spatial approach, forms a distinctive connection appearance, and brings people from different directions together, which has broke the conventional routine of single bridge body and brought new ideas and vitality to the old city.
The Split Bridge
Our design of the bridge is full of "contradictions": the arch bridge along the axis from south to north suddenly "diverges" in the middle. It turned out that there was no way to go in a straight direction, but whether it was due to inertia of behavior or inertia of thinking, people naturally gathered here, and people began to stop and observe this ancient town with unprecedented angles. Thus, the bridge is no longer satisfied with the role of transportation facilities. She has become an opportunity for dialogue between the ancient city and the "new world", the connection between the past and the present. At the same time, the bridge “swallowed” the Linjiang Tower and became a part of structure. This also opened up another narrative clue-a floating platform, a small playground, where people come here, whether they are locals or tourists, the desire to get close to the water makes them unable to resist the temptation to come here and start to communicate, play, and participate in. The northern end of the floating platform is connected to the old wharf through a floating bridge. They continue each other's lives and also witness this Bridging that spans the dimensions of time and space.
Taking the growth form of trees as the prototype, a new bridge shape is created and connected with the old city, showing the ingenious relationship. The bridge is changeable to be used in many ways, which is easy to become a new landmark and a popular scenic spot of Yongxin Old City.
The scheme owns the style of contemporary design and characteristics of minimalism design, combining the crossing bridge with the traditional Wenxing Floating Bridge. Its structure in the middle of the river can meet the needs of water-based bridge pier landscape.
Located on the western border of Jiangxi, Yongxin County is a famous general county in the country and the center of the Hunan and Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Jinggangshan Revolutionary Base. Yongxin embodies its unique gene of “rich humanity, red history and beautiful ecology”. However, the development of the old city, like many other counties in China, is facing numerous issues such as slow economic development, lack of industrial vitality, gradual brain drain, urgent needs to improve the infrastructure and city’s appearance. Therefore, how to protect, inherit and take full advantage of Yongxin’s rich and unique cultural resources and historical genes are both challenging and promising for the development of Yongxin in the new era.
In this context, taking the features and culture of Yongxin Old City as the carrier, guided by design, culture and art, Yongxin Old City has carried out practical operation to solve difficulties as well as future-oriented renovation and transformation through events, communities and industries. Attaching a spatial value to Yongxin Old city via culture revival, environmental improvement, affluent life and model setting. The city will finally realize its renewal plan through the endeavor such as creating an old city regeneration model, reviving the old city’s culture, reconstructing the ancient city ecological circle, consolidating the ancient city industrial foundation.
First Prize - (1 Team) Honor Certificate + Bonus 300,000 RMB (before tax, around 42,000 USD)
Second Prize - (1 Team) Honor Certificate + Bonus 200,000 RMB (before tax, around 28,000 USD )
Third Prize - (1 Team) Honor Certificate + Bonus 100,000 RMB (before tax, around 14,000 USD)
Sponsor: Yongxin County People’s Government
“Rediscover Yongxin” Old City Renewal Project Leading Group
CBC (China Building Centre)
Academic Support: International Urban and Rural Innovation & Development Research Center
Media Support: Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine
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