- Article by Charlotte Huston
Designed by Brearly Architects + Urbanists (BAU), the pedestrian bridge connects two provinces in China and takes inspiration from local sculptural traditions and contemporary mathematics.
Awarded the International Chapter Architecture Medallion by the Australian Institute of Architects, the Yuandang Bridge also received the International Chapter Named Award for Urban Design.
Covering 586 metres, the bridge’s design was commended for its structural beauty and delightfulness in its “eloquent connection between two shores”.
“Yuanang Bridge is at once playful, achingly beautiful, and surprisingly, it astutely interweaves the intimate human scale with the vast seascape,” cited the jury.
“There are moments for shared gatherings under the pavilion with its warped metal structure, referencing the wearing of water of the local Suzhou Taihu rocks, along with intimately calibrated moments for individual contemplation and discovery.
“The pavilion roof structure is detailed to seemingly impossible thinness, almost like a hovering sheet of water fashioned more evocatively by its rippled reflective metal lining.”
BAU was also commended for their design of the Tianyou Experimental School in China, which took out the Award for Educational Architecture.
Employing double-size windows to increase natural light, there was also an increased focus on ventilation in the public school building’s design.
BAU also installed a connecting corridor in the school, while the rooftop sporting field soaks up most of the land area.
“The design breaks away from the transitional institutional design by allowing the education space to extend beyond the bounds of a student’s home classroom,” says the jury.
“Pockets of space are integrated cleverly throughout the internal design, providing different modes of interaction and education.”
International Chapter Executive Director Jennifer Nichols says the Australian Institute of Architects Awards program “offered public and peer recognition of the innovative work of architects.
“The program also provides the Institute with a valuable mechanism to promote architects and architecture across Australia and internationally.”
The International Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects represents Australian architects and built environment professionals working abroad.
The International Chapter winners will now compete in the prestigious National Architecture Awards program.
Photography by Zhu Runzi unless otherwise stated.