Friday, 18 June 2010

'Switchover' bridge revealed



'Switchover' bridge revealed

Here is a remarkable and unusual design for a bridge connecting Hong Kong with the Chinese mainland, dreamed up (perhaps unsurprisingly) by a Dutch architectural company NL Architects. Unusual in that it takes a novel approach to dealing with an obvious difficulty - China drives on the right-hand side of the road whereas Hong Kong, being a one-time British colony still drives on the left. So at either end of any normal bridge or tunnel between them there would need to be a roadside change-over. The remarkable thing about this design is that the change is effected mid-way across by having one side of bridge directed underneath the other and so to the other side of the road before the mainland is reached, thus negating any confusion at the end(s) of the bridge. It is a truly original solution to the problem and as a design study is most interesting and elegant, but whether it would work in reality is open to question. Nevertheless I admire the Dutch architects for their approach to the commission and a lot of the philosophies outlined on their website appeal to my aesthetic nature. In my heart of hearts I doubt we will ever see such an unorthodox design made a reality but I would dearly love to see it and I congratulate the people involved on their vision.

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