The city of Xiamen in Southern China is adding an iconic architectural attraction intended to improve the lives of residents and the experience of visitors. Construction of the 12.4-mile pedestrian bridge network began earlier this year.
The walkways — designed by Danish architect firm Dissing + Weitling — will provide cyclists and pedestrians access to the city’s natural environment without need to brave the traffic on the streets below.
Dissing + Weitling also designed the 4.7-mile-long Xiamen Cycling Skyway, which was completed this past year. Elevated more than 16-feet off the ground, the route is the longest of its kind in the world.
The city of nearly 4 million residents has been an attractive destination spot for savvy travelers in recent years due to its strong contemporary art scene, Fujian cuisine based largely on fresh seafood; hot springs; beaches; and other outdoor recreation.
It boasts a mild climate and natural beauty, including the surrounding mountains and Yundang Bay, along which the modern city is situated. Xiamen maintains one of the lowest pollution levels among Chinese cities.
“The project should as much appear as an attraction for the city — an icon that can attract tourists from around the world,” Steen Savery Trojaborg, chief executive officer of Dissing + Weitling, told the Copenhagen-based newspaper Politiken. “The final result becomes a coherent system of walkways that snake through the city and across the island as a scenic recreational road yard.”
Dissing + Weitling was founded in 1971 as an extension of the work of renowned architect and designer Arne Jacobsen, who died the same year at age 69.
Jacobsen is responsible for the landmark Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, now named Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, in central Copenhagen, as well as furniture design. His Iconic egg chair and swan chair were created in 1958, specifically to furnish common areas of the Radisson SAS.
The firm’s portfolio includes the Djibouti-Yemen Bridge, Shanghai-Chongming Link and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Link , as well as the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek extension and popular Bicycle Snake, both in Copenhagen.