Walk On Air: At the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, views of its lush green surroundings would soon be served to visitors on a glass platter

Project: Zhangjiajie | Design: Martin Duplantier Architectes, Daqian Landscape Architects | Location: Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province China | Photos: Martin Duplantier Architectes

On the western part of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park nestled in the heart of the Hunan Province in China, bridges and pavilions by Martin Duplantier Architectes will soon grace its green landscape. Upon winning the competition to design this new route to connect different parts of Zhangjiajie, the architectural firm has developed a concept based on illusions to create a stealthy, geometrically designed series of footbridges to contrast yet connect the complex landscape of the forest park.

“The landscape is baroque. Unique. Breathtaking. It is a world heritage site. The mountains rise like nimble fingers towards the sky. The vegetation, against all odds, has managed to grow on this invincible rock. Faced with this topographical spectacle, all are left astounded,” the architect states. “Contrasting with a complex landscape, the footbridges are of pure geometric shapes, which seem to have been placed delicately on the carved relief of the site,” say the architects.

Designed to create a physical relationship with the rock’s surface, the bridge infuses a reflective quality to the entire setting. In the architect’s words: “The illusion of a mirror for the one, the fear of the void for the next, and lastly the setting in abyss for the final. The common material is reflective stainless steel for structure and black stone for flooring. The latter reflects the landscape when covered with water.”

Altogether there are three distinct levels at the pavilions – all constructed using the same materials. At the top floor, a terrace-panorama is directly accessible from the footpath. Beneath it is a cafe and its dedicate spaces. Going further down, there is a royal guesthouse offering a space to contemplate the beauty of the park. ” Here, as the crowds of the day disappear, the lucky ones will be able to enjoy the spectacle in perfect solitude,” remark the architects.

7 thoughts on “Walk On Air: At the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, views of its lush green surroundings would soon be served to visitors on a glass platter

  1. Steve & Kris

    First off, wow, that is amazing scenery. That is like something out of a movie. These types of bridges are becoming more popular. I don’t know if it was the first of it’s kind, but the one at the Grand Canyon is certainly a big attraction. I think it gives a very unique experience. I would love to visit this region of China sometime, as it is absolutely breathtaking. I have to admit, I would be a little nervous to walk on the bridge, but I am sure it’s just fine. Thank you for this very informative piece.

  2. Matt's Mom

    The pictures are breathtaking. After reading this post, I simply would love to visit. The new bridges are amazing. Have they been finished or are these just artist renderings? I had never really had any desire to go to China, but after seeing these beautiful pictures and the unusual bridges, it is definitely something for my bucket list.

  3. Robert

    Yikes.

    Absolutely gorgeous. The beauty is mesmerizing and am certain the glass bridges add even more in person than from a picture.

    China was not something that came to mind when I thought of beautiful sight seeing which is changed now.

    From Oregon myself we are fortunate to be a destination for many from around the World.

    Now I have a new destination for the Bucket List. Wonderful to have this shared.

  4. Rhett

    In its natural state the park looks absolutely stunning. Many times man made structures can detract from the natural beauty of a place but these design concepts seem to actually add to the majesty! In fact, these pictures sort of make me think of something that the Elves may have built in a Lord of the Rings movie.

  5. jcelisinfante

    Damn those are some great views and I feel like you have the essence in giving your appreciation of the scenery. I think you write really well but I felt like it misses making it feel more personal, more like you are connected to the public.
    I feel like you should try to emphatize more with the public.

  6. Jojo

    Seems absolutely incredible. It reminds of the fact that I badly feel like travelling. I use to travel a lot when I was younger but the last 15 years I have not done much travelling.
    I can just imagine how it must feel being that high of the ground and then see down through a glass bridge. I have not seen anything like it anywhere in the world and I must say I am very keen on going there. I wish I will get the opportunity to do so one day.
    Thank you for showing me this.

  7. Paula Allevato

    Wow!!! It’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen!!! Really awesome! I think I’ll have to add this to my bucket list! I simply love height and in a place so beautiful like this, it would be an amazing experience!

    Have you been there? Or have you taken those pictures from some other website?

    I’m really impressed with it, thanks for sharing!

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