Last edited 22 Jan 2021

Illusionist bridge


[Image © Martin Duplantier Architectes]

In January 2017, the Paris-based architecture firm Martin Duplantier Architectes won a Chinese-organised competition with their designs for a series of ‘illusionist’ bridges and pavilions.

Proposed for the World Heritage Site of western Zhangjiajie, China, the structures comprise geometric forms and delicate placement to create a ‘physical relationship’ with the surrounding landscape.

A footbridge is formed by an elliptical disk which mirrors the surrounding environment, offering views through an off-centre hole covered in strong netting. This will allow visitors to ‘lie down in the void’.


[Image © Martin Duplantier Architectes]

Another ‘water mirror’ bridge is made from 2 cm of water covering black stone. The water disappears and reappears through spray nozzles every seven minutes, creating a cloud that then settles back onto the stone.

The black stone flooring material used in the footbridges, and reflective stainless steel will also be used in three pavilions – a terrace with panoramic views, a café, and a royal guesthouse.


[Image © Martin Duplantier Architectes]

Images and content courtesy Martin Duplantier Architectes.

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