martin duplantier has conceived a series of pavilions, bridges, and observatories for a walking trail in china’s famed wulingyuan scenic area. the ongoing project, which was awarded first place in a recent competition, intends to create a physical relationship with the natural landscape. each intervention uses mirrored stainless steel for its structure, and black stone, that becomes reflective when wet, for the flooring.
all images © martin duplantier architectes
martin duplantier conceived the route’s architecture as a sequence of stealthy geometric shapes, which, in contrast to the natural environment, appear delicately placed within the topography. the first intervention takes the form of an elliptical disk that mirrors its surroundings. an off-center aperture not only affords views of the drop below, but allows brave visitors to lay down on a strong net tethered above the void. a second observation bridge has two levels: an upper level that functions primary for circulation, while its lower counterpart allows weary walkers to take a seat in mid-air.
the observation bridge allows weary walkers to take a seat in mid-air
titled the ‘water mirror’, the next spanning structure comprises an irregular set of stones topped with 2 centimeters of water. every seven minutes, the water disappears before reappearing through spray nozzles that create a temporary cloud in the middle of the mountain range. this mist then lands on the stones, reapplying the bridge with a veneer of water.
the ‘water mirror’ comprises an irregular set of stones topped with 2 centimeters of water
in addition, three pavilions have been designed as part of the route, offering incredible views from each of their three storeys. the rooftop offers a 360 degree panorama, while a café is positioned at the intermediate level. below, exclusive VIP suites allow select guests to spend the night overlooking the picturesque landscape.
every seven minutes, the water disappears before reappearing through spray nozzles
three pavilions have also been designed, offering incredible views from each of their three storeys
location: zhangjiajie, hunan province, china
dates: 2015 – ongoing (unbuilt, winning project)
design team: martin duplantier architectes, daqian landscape architects