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Taiping Bridge Renovation by School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Guizhou Province, China

Emerging Architecture Awards 2010: Highly Commended

Bridges have featured well in the AR Awards for Emerging Architecture over the years. Whether lauded for their structural or expressive innovation (Miró Rivera’s pedestrian bridge, winner 2006), or for the social and economic links they make (Li Xiaodong’s Bridge School, winner 2009), without fail they have drawn the jury’s attention. This bridge was no exception, although in this instance it took time to resolve a debate about refinement that arose from reservations about the crude precast components used. Eventually, however, the narrative prevailed and the jury agreed on the award.

The TaiPing Bridge Project was a two-year reconstruction scheme for a 300-year-old bridge in the Guizhou Province of China. While the reconstruction of one collapsed arch (following flooding in 2005) was a large undertaking, the designers also faced the less measurable challenge of how to revitalise this once important location. To this end they designed custom-made pavers to form planters and seating that would encourage people to gather here.

Simple timber scaffold was built during the dry season, creating the formwork for the new precast concrete arch. Once refaced using reclaimed stone from the original structure, the deck was waterproofed before new geometric pavers were laid. The bridge was then brought back to life when volunteers planted donated shrubs sourced from surrounding regions.

Architect John Lin, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Project team Jiaxin Chum, Li Bin, Charles Lai, Zhang Xudong, Abdul YeungGu Lik Hang, Cheng Hiu Tung, Lau Hiu Yeung, Chu Ling Tung, Cheung Wai Nga
Engineering supervisor Xing Shijian

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