MVRDV has won a competition for Dawn Bridge, a new multi-use bridge near Shanghai that will give locals and visitors the chance to experience a historic Chinese water town in a whole new way. Located near Zhujiajiao, this new 80-meter-long landmark will be topped with trees and amphitheater-like seating that overlooks views of the water and riverside architecture. To blend the modern bridge into its surroundings, the architects drew upon a contextual palette of colors and materials referencing the local vernacular.

Dawn Bridge by MVRDV, Dawn Bridge in China, Dawn Bridge competition, Dawn Bridge Zhujiajiao, Zhujiajiao bridge project, bridge as public space, multi use bridge, bridge architecture in China

Dawn Bridge by MVRDV, Dawn Bridge in China, Dawn Bridge competition, Dawn Bridge Zhujiajiao, Zhujiajiao bridge project, bridge as public space, multi use bridge, bridge architecture in China

Located between the 16th century Fangsheng Bridge and the Qingpu Road Bridge, the 24-meter-wide Dawn Bridge will mark a new era of development in the riverfront area. MVRDV’s winning design proposes a bridge that doubles as public space by turning part of the deck into amphitheater-like seating optimized for gatherings, meetings, and beautiful views of Zhujiajiao. The bridge also provides sufficient clearance to the approximately 80-meter-wide active riverbed that’s used for activities year-round.

Dawn Bridge by MVRDV, Dawn Bridge in China, Dawn Bridge competition, Dawn Bridge Zhujiajiao, Zhujiajiao bridge project, bridge as public space, multi use bridge, bridge architecture in China

Dawn Bridge by MVRDV, Dawn Bridge in China, Dawn Bridge competition, Dawn Bridge Zhujiajiao, Zhujiajiao bridge project, bridge as public space, multi use bridge, bridge architecture in China

“The vertical alignment of Dawn Bridge defines a sense of lightness and elegance, and our aim was to provide a graceful low curve above the river that also blends with the landscape”, says Wenchian Shi, Partner at MVRDV. “Beyond blending, we wanted to create a bridge that invites public life over and around it and that is accessible to all people whether on foot or on wheels.”

Dawn Bridge by MVRDV, Dawn Bridge in China, Dawn Bridge competition, Dawn Bridge Zhujiajiao, Zhujiajiao bridge project, bridge as public space, multi use bridge, bridge architecture in China

Dawn Bridge by MVRDV, Dawn Bridge in China, Dawn Bridge competition, Dawn Bridge Zhujiajiao, Zhujiajiao bridge project, bridge as public space, multi use bridge, bridge architecture in China

Related: World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens in the Netherlands

The bridge’s pedestrian deck and landings will be painted in the same reddish hue as the wood found in the nearby houses, while the gray roofs and white walls of the local residences are echoed in the bridge’s white structural frame and gray asphalt. Proposed plantings and trees on the bridge mimic the greenery of the riverbanks. Completion is anticipated for 2019.

+ MVRDV

Images via MVRDV