Penda has designed a prestressed double-helix bridge spanning China’s Gui River that will become an integral part of the infrastructure system for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The San Shan Bridge, which translates to 3 Mountains Bridge, draws inspiration from the interlacing of five rings in the Olympic Symbol to create a form evocative of the area’s mountainous landscape.
The bridge will connect Beijing with the city of Zhangjiakou, where the majority of major outdoor events at the Beijing Olympics will take place. A popular recreational area for residents and tourists, the region surrounding the bridge has seen rapid growth in recent years, a trend which is expected only to escalate as the Olympic games approach. Plans are in place for major developments by internationally acclaimed architects that will turn the area into an exhibition hub. The bridge will connect visitors and residents to these new locations, as well as become a vital piece of the wider Beijing Expansion Masterplan.
The 452 meter long bridge deck is supported by the double-helix structure made up of three sets of arch-like steel structures with a maximum span of 95 Meters that intersect above and below the road surface. The deck is then suspended using high-strength steel cables, creating a woven-like pattern as they encircle the bridge. The structure has been engineered to be as slender as possible, allowing the design to use up to 5 times less steel than a conventional box girder bridge.
On the deck, four vehicular lanes are separated from pedestrian pathways using a strip of greenery along either side, creating a visual and auditory barrier between the two modes of transportation.
The bridge is anticipated to be complete in time for the Beijing Horticultural Expo 2019, which will take place adjacent to the bridge site.