The Lucky Knot

The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but for NEXT Architects that would not be nearly as entertaining as the firm’s design for the Lucky Knot bridge. An innovative architecture practice based in Amsterdam and Beijing, NEXT was awarded first prize in an international competition for a pedestrian bridge to cross the Dragon King Harbour River in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in south-central China. Located about 915 miles south of Beijing, Changsha is a growing center of history, industry, and culture. (You may recall that Changsha was to be the site of the “world’s tallest building” – Sky City One – but those plans have been scrapped.)

Designed with recreational, ecological, and tourist activities in mind, the 600-foot Lucky Knot steel bridge undulates from shore to shore in three bands reminiscent of lazy roller-coasters. The architects incorporated elements of Chinese culture – the folk art of knotting, which symbolizes luck and prosperity, as well as the bridge’s red color, symbolizing happiness – into their design. The new bridge offers a panorama of the river, Meixi Lake, the city of Changsha, and the surrounding mountain range. It was included in CNN’s 2016 list of “12 spectacular new bridges that break the mold.

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