Professor Jorge Silvetti of Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Department of Architecture once appraised the work of Zaha Hadid, “…architecture as fine art has not run out of steam and is hardly wanting in imagination.”
“In 2015, the international team led by Zaha Hadid Architects, Germany’s Leonhardt, Andrä & Partner, Taiwan’s Sinotech Engineering Consultants, and RJ Models has announced the winner of the New Danjiang Bridge International Competition in Taiwan.”
▲Architectural rendering of Taiwan’s new Danjiang Bridge (Sourcing from the Internet)
The Danjiang Bridge has been commissioned to improve connectivity between the local villages of Danjiang River and to ease congestion in Northern Taiwan.
It will also enhance accessibility throughout the region with the rapidly expanding Taipei Harbor.
However, as the bridge will span across Danjiang river mouth and due to this unique geographical location, the bridge is seen as a gateway to Taiwan and will ultimately become an integral part of the image that represents the City of Taipei, thus making the artistic design of the bridge an important element that is to be highly regarded.
▲Rendered Image of Danjiang Bridge that will ease traffic congestion and improve tourism in the region (Sourcing from the Internet)
And to better present the artistic element of the New Danjiang Bridge, it became necessary that in this competition, the architectural model is used to demonstrate the design concept of New Danjiang Bridge.”
RJ Models has worked with Zaha Hadid Architects on many occasions and is their trusted partner.
The scale of the Danjiang Bridge model is 1:500, with a length of 3.2 meters and width 0.7 meters.
RJ Models successfully completed the construction of the bridge model within 3 weeks of receiving the final design from Zaha Hadid Architects and delivered the model to the Danjiang Bridge International Competition in Taiwan.”
▲Image of Danjiang Bridge Model used in the International Competition
The single tower that supports the bridge is the main design feature of Danjiang Bridge.
The 175 meters tall single tower is designed and engineered to be as slim and slender as possible.
The tower is positioned asymmetrically to the bridge (Not in the center), and this position also offers the best structural performance.
The design of the tower is like sculptured hands clasped together in prayer for those who cross the bridge and it is this slender concrete body with its elegant curve and slanted cable-stay that held the bridge deck above the water.
▲Rendered Image of the main tower that resembles a dancer with both hands clasped together (Sourcing from the Internet)
Therefore, to portray the slender design of the bridge model at 1:500, the team at RJ Models vigorously tested numerous materials which could be used as the cable-stay for this cable-stayed bridge.
Our architectural model building team eventually found a thread that is both tough and yet delicate in a textile factory that could be used, so the architectural model would show the elegance of the bridge’s design.
▲The team at RJ Models tested numerous line materials to bring out the slenderness and elegance of the bridge’s design
“The ratio between the main tower and the length of the bridge deck is itself a beauty that further enhances the fluidity and overall look and flow of the Danjiang Bridge.
And such design flow of curves and fluidity is what Zaha Hadid Architects is renowned for.”
▲The ratio between the main tower and the span of the bridge deck is itself a beauty, it is pleasing to look at even if it is only a model
Good architectural ideas are often inspired by different art forms.
The design of Danjiang Bridge is inspired by dance performances of the renowned Taiwanese dance group Cloud Gate Dance Theater.
The architects use the bridge, the slanting cables that stretch from the tower to the bridge deck and lightnings to create images that resemble the dancer’s rhythmic dance routine.
▲Taiwan contemporary dance group, Cloud Gate Dance Theater dance performance (Sourcing from the Internet)
The design of the street lights is no exception and is another feature that symbolizes the Cloud Gate Dancers.
They are different in shape and none of them duplicates, therefore these street lights cannot and will not be mass-produced.
To truly represent the different shapes of each of the street light, RJ Models printed the design drawings of every street lights and use them as the reference to create ones for the model.
They then laid down wiring under the bridge and install the street lights one by one to truly and effectively reflect the architect’s design ideas.
▲Street lights of different shapes resemble the uniqueness of every dancer in Cloud Gate Dance Theater.
The nighttime display of the model portrays a sense of tranquility.
The glowing stage light that is projected onto the Danjiang River turns the river water into a mirror.
The delicate thread-like cable reflects the color of the lights and the lights gradually weaken as it spreads towards the sky into infinity.
▲Rendered Image of Danjiang Bridge that is expected to complete in 2020 and become a new landmark of New Taipei City. (Sourcing from the Internet)
Upon completion, Danjiang Bridge will be the world’s longest single-mast asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge.
It will also be Zaha first piece of work in Taiwan.
The vast Tamsui estuary is surrounded by the scenic view of Mount Guanyin behind Bali, the sunset and the mist and even though the dance has stopped, there is still the bridge that so much resembles the fluid movement of the dancers dancing into dusk at Tamsui.”