Taiping Bridge RenovationEdit profile
TAIPING BRIDGE RENOVATION, Guizhou Province, China The TaiPing Bridge Project was a two-year reconstruction and surface renovation project of a historic 300 year-old bridge in Guizhou Province, China. Led by students and professors, the project addresses the issue of sustainable development in Chinese Villages. Like most rural areas in China, the village has undergone massive changes, reflective of the rapid urbanization process elsewhere. At one time the bridge was the town center and the primary marketplace. However, its importance has been bypassed by nearby highway construction. Though the primary task was to repair a collapsed arch, the larger problem was how to revitalize the once important and historic location. The project attempted to reconcile the long history of the existing masonry construction with modern pre-cast concrete techniques. Pre-cast concrete was used to rebuild the arch as well as pave the bridge. Manufactured in a nearby factory, various concrete blocks were custom designed to function as structure, surface paving, planting and seating. The triangular forms were chosen for their ability to accommodate different sizes of blocks in one surface. In addition, openings of various sizes were created by casting standard PVC pipes into the concrete. In this manner, different sizes of plantings, hard paving and seating were all incorporated into the design of the bridge surface. Ultimately, the bridge was re-programmed as a viable public space for multifunctional use. In August 2009, students, volunteers and villagers planted the bridge with a combination of donated plants and wild varieties sourced from the surrounding mountains. The entire project was built for 25,000 USD.