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A Brief Introduction of Bridge Aesthetics of Recent China

YIN, Delan

Bridge Aesthetics is a combination of mechanics, engineering, art and philosophy. China is a huge country, with diversified physiognomy and abounding river system. There are countless bridges had been built. For those early built bridges, we have few references to follow the aesthetic points of the design. We are still able to perceive the isolated taste based on the forms and details  of the existing bridges. Name: Anping Bridge Locate: Jinjiang, Fujian Built: year 1138 Features: The bridge is 2255m in total length. It was built with granite masonry. The bridge is supported by 361 piers. Three shapes of piers were used to fit the water flow. The rectangle piers were used in the land. The piers with a sharp angle were used at the slow flow waterway. And the piers with two sharp angles were used in the wider waterway. In recent thirty years, China has been developing rapidly. A great number of bridges have been built. As a brief introduction, the article will through several cases, introduce the aesthetic consideration in the modern bridge design of China. Two bridges crossing Yangtze River in Nanjing are picked as the large span bridges. Two bridges in the business center of Chongqing are selected to show the large bridges as the signatures of the city. The last two bridges belonged to a reconstruction project of Tianjin. Most of the pictures and other materials used in the article are from webpages.

Bridges Crossing Yangtze River at Nanjing The Yangtze River is the largest river in China. It flows from west to east, through the densely inhabited and economic developed districts. It merges in the Pacific Ocean at Shanghai. Nanjing is located upstream of Shanghai, a big central city of the Yangtze River Delta. There are four bridges crossing the Yangtze River in Nanjing. They are named on the built order. The first Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is a railway-highway duel functions bridge, about 7000m long. The construction of the bridge was started at January of 1960 and open to the railway at September and to the highway at December of 1968. All required top resources were gathered from whole China for the bridge construction. The form and the details of the aesthetics of the bridge reflected the politic and the cultural characters. It is an image of the epoch of 1960’s of China. The First Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge 
symbols of the three most important political concepts of the period. A statue of 10 m high was setting in front of the tower of “The Three Red Flags”. The statue is a sculpture of five typical social roles of the worker, the farmer, the soldier, the student and the merchant. The towers and the statues are models of the Cultural Revolution arts. The handrails of the sidewalks are decorated by a set of enchased pictures. They are sunflowers, scenes and landscapes of China to show the achievements in the industry and the agriculture of China. The third of Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is a two-plane cable-stayed bridge. The most remarkable feature of the bridge is its two pylons. They are invert Y shape, which is similar to the Chinese character 人 (means “the Human”). The whole color of the bridge was carefully selected. The light grey was thought to fit the environment and looked elegant. The third Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (Day’s View) The third Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (Night’s View) The owner of the bridge is very fond of its night view design. The total 256 colors are controlled by the computers and will be changed to show the colorful for the spring, the cool for the summer, the brilliant of the autumn and the warm for the winter. The total 1288 m long light decoration makes the bridge as a brilliant stage.

Bridges of Chongqing, the Bridge Capital Chongqing is a city located in the middle part of China. It is very hilly and is divided into three districts by the Yangtze River and the Jialing River. There have been about 50 major bridges over the Yangtze River and the Jialing River. The Twin River Bridges – Dongshuimen Bridge and Qiansimen Bridge The Dongshuimen Bridge over the Yangtze River and the Qianximen Bridge over the Jialing River are located at the tip of the Yuzhong Peninsula. Together, they are called the Twin River Bridges. Since the two bridges will cross the rivers at the most important business area of the city, the aesthetics factor has the heavy weight in the selection of the bridge schemes. An international scheme competition was hold and the scheme with two alike cable-stayed bridges wan the project. The configuration of the towers is very Chinese. It looks like the shuttle of an ancient Chinese weaving machine. Dongshuimen Yangtze River Crossing Qiansimen Jialing River Crossing Night view of the Twin River Bridges

Bridges Crossing the Haihe River in Tianjin Tianjin is a metropolis in northern China and is one of the five national central cities of China. Tianjin's urban area is located along the Haihe River, which connects to the Yellow River and the Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin. In 2003, Tianjin started to develop Binhai new district and involved in a bridge modify project along the Haihe River. The purpose of the project was to connect west and east parts of the Haihe River and build up an aesthetic belt along the river. In this project, some existing bridges crossing the Haihe River were repaired or reconstructed, some new bridges were built. All styles of each bridge are conceived very carefully to fit the environment around. The Jinbu Bridge is a new build bridge. The client needs a modern style to show the speed and technology. The truss shape was used. And the frame of the bridge looks like a jumping fish or a high speed running train. The Jinbu Bridge The Baian Bridge was originally built in 1939. It was reconstructed in 1973. At 2004, the bridge was remodeled. It was uplift 1.5m permanently to fit the navigate requirement. Two sight view platforms were added at each abutment of the bridge. The decoration of the bridge is a combination of Europe style and Chinese type. Four Europe style statues are Chinese characters of the Stars Mansions. The Baian Bridge and the statue 5. Summary Six bridges are picked in the article as examples of limited ideas of bridge aesthetics design of modern China.

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