Double Vault Bridge

Chengdu, China
Pedestrian Bridge
Credit List:
Howeler + Yoon Architecture, Eric Howeler, Di Wang, Sungwoo Jang, Bernard Peng

Situated on a new development in South Chengdu, China, Double Vault Bridge connects the bustling streets of residential and commercial areas of the west, and scenic landscape to the east. Light yet solid, the asymmetric structure funnels pedestrians into new mixed-use areas, creating a unique arrival experience. 

Double Vault Bridge adapts the traditional arch to specific site conditions. The arch structure was adopted early as the structural concept to maximize the clearance for boat passing. Pedestrians on either bank approach the water’s edge obliquely to one another. As a result, the stairs, combined with the pier structure, stand diagonally across the water, creating two vault spaces under the bridge. The arch structure, clearance, and circulation drive the dramatic asymmetry of Double Vault Bridge.

The exterior cladding of the structure is made of fluted panels, which ranges from 1.5m to 6m high. The panels change from a curved profile at the top to a flat profile at the bottom, creating a fine carving texture on the elevation. At the stairwell, elliptical lenses perforate the panels to bring daylight in and offer crossing pedestrians framed views toward the water.