The Suzhou Creek is known to be a museum of bridges because of the large amount of those structures crossing over the creek. This one in particular was first built over the Suzhou Creek in 1997 for pedestrians only. On 2009 for the World Expo of Shanghai, the bridge was renovated to allow access to small vehicles such bikes and scooters besides the pedestrians, improving the connectivity between Jing’an district and Zhabei district.
The bridge extends over a kilometer in length as an elevated platform offering unique urban views from one of the most representative areas of Shanghai. However, it is currently underestimated when compared with other bridges crossing the Creek, hiding its uniqueness and amazing potential to become an urban landmark in Shanghai.
100architects’ proposal aims to transform the bridge into an eventful elevated park crossing the city offering a unique urban journey through one of the densest areas of Shanghai.
The grey asphalt gives way to bold and bright colors, turning the bridge into an eye-catching elevated urban landmark. The design strategy of the High Loop organizes the different circulations by colors, creating a hierarchy of different rhythms and paces in which the bridge can be transited. While a straight lane in electric lime color defines the fast track for bicycles and motorbikes, a winding path in viscous magenta color was purposely introduced to slow down the pedestrian circulation. A contrasting loop that encourages pedestrians to take it slow, enjoy the journey and the privileged views over Shanghai’s urban landscape and the Suzhou Creek.
As background color, a soothing cyan blue defines the spaces to stop & stay, spaces to socialize, meet and gather. From viewing decks to picnic plazas, lounge areas or mini amphitheaters, it’s in these cyan blue pockets where all the contrasting yellow urban furniture and social functions are located, allowing the loop to wind around them, encouraging the appearance of those pockets.
In addition, new greenery planters are introduced, either as decorative elements or as functional separators of the motored track and the pedestrian path.
Besides those functions, some of the cyan blue patches have been purposely left empty in order to leave flexible spaces to keep allowing the occurrence of informal pop-up night markets and vendors commonly seen in the current version of the bridge.
The design does not change the current structure but rather transforms it by only adding a colorful painted scape and functional urban objects on top, improving circulation system and adding functional pocket.