Fri, Aug 14, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Hadid wins bridge design contest

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

An artist’s conception shows how the Tamkang Bridge, designed by Zaha Hadid, will look when it is completed. The Directorate-General of Highways yesterday announced the winners of an international competition to design the bridge.

Photo courtesy of the Directorate-General of Highways

Sinotech Engineering Consultants and German firm Leonhardt, Andra und Partner have won an international design competition to build the Tamkang Bridge (淡江大橋) over the Tamsui River (淡水河) in New Taipei City with a design by Zaha Hadid Architects, the Directorate-General of Highways said yesterday.

A 15-member review committee, including experts in engineering and local history, reviewed designs submitted by architecture firms from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Denmark and the US and selected the winner on Wednesday.

The winning design features an asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge with a single pylon, the directorate said.

It was designed by famed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who in 2004 became the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which was established in 1979.

Some of her designs, known for pushing the boundaries of architecture and urban design, have proved controversial, such as for the one for the Tokyo Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Games.

The other teams in the competition had focused on double-pylon bridges, with a pylon on the west side that was likely to block the view of the sunset over the river, a major attraction for visitors and residents of Tamsui District (淡水), the directorate said.

Because the piers in the winning design would be on the east side of the river, the design would not only reduce the environmental impact on the Watziwei Nature Conservation Area (挖子尾自然保護區) in Bali District (八里) on the west side of the river, but it would allow visitors to see the sunset year-round between the pylon and the Guanyinshan (觀音山), the agency said.

Sinotech president Kung Chen-shan (龔誠山) said the winning design was inspired by a visit to Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s (雲門舞集) new home in Tamsui.

The 900m-long bridge is like a dancer jumping upward, while the pylon in the middle of the bridge are like the praying hands of the dancer, he said, adding that the lighting of the bridge was designed to reduce its impact on the boats and fish.

The cable-stayed portion of the bridge is to be 450m long, which would make it the world’s longest single-pylon cable-stayed bridge and a New Taipei City landmark, the directorate said.

The bridge is to connect Tamsui and Bali, reducing travel distance between the two districts by 15km, with four traffic lanes, a pedestrian walkway, a bike lane and an 8m-width reserved for a light-rail system track.

It is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

The bridge will be Leonhardt, Andra und Partner’s first public infrastructure project in this nation.

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