From the majestic gardens of Poyang Lake to the Shanghai’s National History Museum to the longest glass bottom foot bridge in Zhangjiajie National Park, the innovative designs out of China are far outreaching and full of imagination.
As more of the county’s vast population moves from rural areas to larger cities, urban resources have been stretched, resulting in incidences of overcrowding, pollution and substandard living. Presented as part of a larger master plan, this project by Vincent Callebaut Architectures has been designed to combat potentially damaging migration patterns in china. Positioned between Mount Lu (a UNESCO world heritage site) and Poyang Lake, the development seeks to promote a balanced lifestyle in provincial areas with a vibrant mix of both private and public uses that encourage eco-responsible living and working.
Within this framework, ‘wooden orchids’ offers local residents a vast retail complex that also includes a public library, a sports center, organic food courts and a farmers market. A passive geothermal cooling and heating system is also employed, while a south-facing orientation strategy incorporates large photovoltaic canopies. At roof level, a large sky garden integrates children’s playgrounds, food gardens, and sports facilities.
Global architecture and design firm Perkins + Will have completed Shanghai’s Natural History Museum in China. The 44,517 square meter museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural world through the display of more than 10,000 artifacts from all seven continents. The building includes exhibit spaces, a 4D Theater, and an outdoor exhibit garden.
Located on an urban site, the shape and internal organization of the building references the pure natural form of a mollusk shell. A grass-covered plane rises out of the park and wraps around an oval pond – the focus of the exhibition route through the building – which begins at the upper level and spirals downwards.
The structural network and sunscreen that lines the curved inner face of the building is both an abstraction of patterns found in traditional pavilions, and a suggestion of human cell organization. The north wall, which is the group-entry façade along the bus drop-off, references the movement of tectonic plates, while the south wall is a living wall plane composed of a metal trellis covered with vines. The green wall brings the horizontal plane of the park onto the vertical surface of the structure forming an arcade that represents the vegetation of the earth’s surface.
In July of this year, China’s scenic Zhangjiajie National Park will be opening the very first bridge of its kind. The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Skywalk is set to be the World’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge, coming in at 1,410 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 984 feet above ground. The glass structure is being designed by Israeli-based architect Haim Dotan and many hope that it will become a Wonder of the World, especially since it represents unique architecture that tests the limits of human creativity.
Once the skywalk is unveiled, it will be able to hold up to 800 people at once. It will also feature the world’s highest bungee jump, stealing the title from Macau Tower’s incredible 764-foot high attraction. In addition to these world records, the bridge will certainly add a futuristic element to the national park, which is said to have been the inspiration behind the planet of Pandora in James Cameron’s movie Avatar.
Submitted by: Dwayne