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Ruyi Bridge, completed in 2023, is one of ZZHK Architects’ most iconic projects. Ruyi Bridge, with its bright red color and serpentine curves, has earned the title of one of the World’s Most Amazing Bridges.
Zhang Ke, one of China’s most influential young architects, founded ZZHK Architects, an architectural firm that has some of the most creative projects in China and around the world. The firm targets highly-recognized design with character by specializing in research and improvements in excellent development projects, high-standard architecture, and planning projects.
The Ruyi Bridge is located on Tianfu 2nd Street, south of the CR Phoenix City residential area in Chengdu’s High-Tech Zone, The main bridge, which crosses Tianfu 2nd Street, overlooks the greenway of Dayuan Central Park. Both sidewalks have spiral stairways with an inclination of 1:4 to 1:12 to help pedestrians cross. Additionally, two bicycle ramps with an angle of 1:12 are installed at the ends of the main bridge to link the greenways on both sides of the street. The Ruyi bridge ties together Dayuan Park on the south with the urban space and green scenery on the north. The pedestrian and cycling lanes can be linked and extended in this situation. This integration allows for a smooth transition between the two sides, encouraging people to explore the natural environment as well as the cityscape.
As the facade of Ruyi Bridge is modeled after the Chinese Panpipes, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, the design concept is known as the Sound of Panpipes. The bridge’s undulations and fluttering mimic the fresh and beautiful flow of the music beat, forming a functional urban sculpture. From above, the bridge seems like a Ruyi immersed in the city. Ruyi is a classic Chinese S-shaped decorative piece made of jade. This unique design not only provides a visually stimulating experience but also becomes a melodious landmark within the cityscape. It pays homage to traditional Chinese culture, expressing both the beauty of music and the gracefulness of a classic Chinese ornament. Its stylishness is further emphasized by the intricate metalwork, reminiscent of a traditional jade Ruyi, which symbolizes good luck and fortune in Chinese culture. Ruyi once represented good fortune, thus a bridge of this design represents things moving smoothly with luck.
The bridge has a “Ruyi”-shaped design plane 331 meters long. Tianfu 2nd Street is made up of 42m of prefabricated steel box girders with equal cross sections. The two spiral ramps were built from continuously hollow slabs of reinforced concrete that are 42 and 76 meters long, respectively. The bridge has two streamlined seats placed at both intersection sites, and its clearance width ranges from 2.36 to 9.23 meters. Ruyi Bridge is currently a popular scenic place for residents’ daily lives, fitness, and amusement.
It was reported by the media that this bridge was subordinated to the Chengdu High-tech Zone’s Major Landscape Improvement Project in May 2023. Ruyi Bridge has since been featured in ArchDaily, ABBS, gooood, and other professional architecture publications.
It was featured in the articles “The Most Amazing Bridges Around the World” and RTW Gap Sabbatical Trip Inspiration Travel Destinations: The Most Stunning and Modern Pedestrian Bridges Across the World. During the Golden Panda Tianfu Creative Design Awards in November 2023, Ruyi Bridge won a Copper Award in Space Creativity (Professional Group). The award-winning Ruyi bridge stands as a testament to the incredible engineering feats modern architecture is capable of while also providing a tranquil space to appreciate its beauty.Project Details
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The Jewel Caterpillar–probably, though it hasn’t been formally confirmed, an Acraga coa, belonging to a family of moths known as Alceridae–is sometimes known as a “slug caterpillar” due to gooeyness. This one was photographed near Cancun, Mexico. [via BoingBoing]
This artist’s concept of a so-called “super Earth” is a representation of a first-of-its-kind view that NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope caught this week. For the first time, we’ve seen direct light from a super Earth, “using its sensitive heat-seeking infrared vision.” The planet is incredibly close to the star it orbits, and probably has a rocky core surrounded by both liquid and gaseous water. Read more here.
London Rooftop Missiles
We learned last week that, to protect the games or possibly just freak us the hell out, some London residents will play host to rooftop missiles during the Olympics. Here’s what that missile will look like: a Starstreak High Velocity Missile. Read more here.
This is a calico lobster. Caught off the coast of Maine, it was originally going to be eaten, because obviously, lobsters are delicious, that’s what you do with them. But it’s weird coloration (only 1 in 30 million are colored this way) led it to the New England Aquarium instead. Read more here.
Unnamed Baby Elephant
This baby elephant, only three days old, resides in the Berlin Zoo. But he doesn’t have a name yet! Ridiculous! We did some Googling and came up with a few suggestions:
DIY Double-Seater Sub
Zhang Wuyi, a farmer, created this double-seater sub–one of six. To see more photojournalism like this, head over to American Photo Mag.
Earth as Art
The U.S. Geological Survey occasionally exhibits some of the amazing satellite imagery taken of our planet–even though the satellite is for scientific purposes, sometimes it produces just stunningly beautiful images. Read more here.
A Danish architecture firm called BIG have designed an apartment building, or group of buildings, or something, that is/are shaped like a hashtag. #Unlikely but #supercool. Read more here.
Black Hole Revs Up
This artist’s concept of the galaxy Arp 220 is based on data picked up by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s meant to show how a black hole that’s revving up in power can suppress a galaxy’s ability to birth new stars. Read more here.
In one of our favorite stories of the week, a team of scientists sought to answer a question that has plagued absolutely nobody for absolutely no time: why does cereal taste better with milk than with water? Included in the article (which had amazing quotes) were these precise/hilarious magnified shots of soggy breakfast cereal.
From inside the “car”, you pretty much see the same thing you would in the real world… except it’s a bit more blocky. Dvice/Charlie White
Charlie over at Dvice got a chance to go check out the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS-1) at the University of Iowa, and take the gargantuan piece of machinery for a spin. Costing $80 million to build and requiring a building the size of a gymnasium, the NADS-1 is considered the most sophisticated driving sim in the world. The verdict? Charlie says it’s the closest thing to actually driving he’s experienced.
According to Charlie, the experience very much feels like a real car, because you actually sit in one–minus the wheels and engine, of course. This car is enveloped by a giant, spherical pod that projects artificial scenery all around you and is connected to a series of rails and stabilizers inside the giant warehouse.
When you accelerate, the car pushes you back against your seat. When you swerve, you move back and forth as expected. And when you brake…well, you better hope your seatbelt is working properly. And because the machine matches the simulated G-force on screen, there’s no motion sickness to suffer. In short, this thing sounds awesome, and I will have one someday (when I’m a billionaire, of course). Be sure to check out Dvice for even more photos of the NADS-1.
This pod houses the dummy car and projector setup for the 3-D landscape. A set of shocks and stabilizers underneath can replicate the feeling of swerving and sharp movement.
This series of tracks and rails are what allow the NADS-1 to trick you into thinking you’re on an actual road. The pod stays attached to a main chain drive that slides along a series of other rails, providing enough X-Y movement to complete the illusion.
Back Seat Driver
From inside the “car”, you pretty much see the same thing you would in the real world… except it’s a bit more blocky.
A pulled-back look reveals that most the visual work is done by a bending, panoramic screen and projector.
Even mere simulators need industrial-strength safety panels. I would hate to see what would happen if the NADS-1 went haywire.
Real Cars, Fake Scenarios
As you can see, the NADS-1 simulator uses modified cars for drivers to sit in, but lacking such real-world essentials like wheels, and you know, an engine.
Turkish practice Melike Altinisik Architects – MAA which has gained international recognition with their latest project Istanbul’s futuristic 369 meter-tall TV and Radio Tower, has won an international competition for the Robot Science Museum located in Seoul, South Korea.
The competition hosted by The Seoul Metropolitan Government called for the ideas to design World’s first pioneer Robot Science Museum (RSM) to support public education in robotics and increase the public knowledge and interests in robots.
Watch PA Talks 20 with Melike Altinisik.
RSM is going to be one of the buildings in the center of the renovation area ‘the Changbai New Economic Center’ which is going to be a Cultural Center for Chang-dong in the northern part of Seoul. The building will be linked to the Photographic Art Museum (PAM) which is going to build next to Robot Science Museum (RSM).
This representative and semantic role to be undertaken from design to construction are as important as meeting the functional requirements at the highest level for the museum.
In other words, From design to form generation, from structural design to the material, buildings designed in this manner must manifest robots, science, technology, and innovation.
The main character of the museum to create its own universe for the robots and their visitors, a sphere like non-directional, fluid and natural form is preferred instead of rigid geometry and orthogonal forms.
This form language, beyond the semantic aspect, is a design tool for meeting functional requirements and conditions of spatial comfort and building physics, creates a wide range of possibilities for connection with urban orientation and public spaces within its non-directional form generation.
The fluid morph of building surface serves for purposes such as involving public space to interior, meeting and organizing pedestrian and vehicle movement, and creating in-between spaces.
The functions on the ground floor of the building provide continuum and interaction between public outdoor spaces and indoor spaces. The people in public space between the PAM and RSM are directly faced with the scientific, technologic and innovative mission of the museum.
The robot science museum serves as a base for spreading the science culture by providing opportunities to experience the latest robotics technology such as AI, virtual and augmented reality, hologram, and running an in-depth training course to explore new robots.
The design proposal for Robot Science Museum is focused on developing an architectural language through the use of contemporary fabrication technologies and robotic construction methodologies.
These design and construction methodologies ideally would allow a rich exchange of relations between its robots in construction, robots in service, robots exhibited and their visitors. Such as a team of robots will assemble the museum’s curved metal facade, while saving time and money.
Led by building information modeling (BIM) system, they will mold, assemble, weld and polish the metal plates. Another team of robots will 3D print concrete for the surrounding landscape.
The new Robot Museum is expected to start its first exhibition on site in early 2023 and is expected to be completed with the official opening slated for late 2023. After the opening, it operates as a branch system of the Seoul Metropolitan Museum.
Building A Sustainable Healthcare Ecosystem: The Vision Behind Dubai Healthcare City By Kalbod Architects
With a futuristic approach, Dubai Healthcare City is designed by Kalbod Architects to build a multi-functional complex focusing on medical services on Dubai seashores. The creative integration of digital and sustainable architecture, geographic and social conditions of the region, and acknowledging the future needs of tourists and citizens of Dubai were the primary fuels for designing the world’s largest medical tourism center in the Persian Gulf.
The idea of designing Ring Island Dubai is based on the approach and looking to the future and providing a multi-functional complex centered on medical services. The creative integration of a digital approach, sustainable architecture, geographic and social conditions of the region, and attention to the future needs of Dubai, are indicators that have been considered in all stages of ideation and design and have led to the formation of the final result.
Access to Dubai Healthcare City will be underwater. Transportation systems like monorail and electric cars are planned, and different stations are designed to access every part of the island. Because of a pedestrian-oriented approach, the entrance to the island is located under the ground, and cars cannot come up and enter the island.
The crescent shape of the site plan symbolizes the architecture of Dubai’s region and the geometry of Burj al-Arab, as well as Muslim religious elements such as the lunar month. Also, the abstract combination of parametric forms and Islamic geometry patterns has been used in the grid designed for the site and higher levels.
The project’s program has three main zones: education and research in the middle and medical and residential. Also, the design of suspended paths between different parts and buildings has made walking on this island at different levels possible. Following this issue, there would be a unique view of Dubai and the Persian Gulf by being in any part of the island and at any level.
The terraces and roofs covered with different plants, in addition to increasing the air quality, have given this island a green and shaded view at other times of the day. The hot and humid climate of Dubai is an essential innovation in design.The development of the Dubai Healthcare Center
The central tower of the island, with an area of one million square meters, has two general parts: the base of the building, with an area of 670,000 square meters, is dedicated to educational and academic activities, and the crescent on it, with an area of 330,000 square meters, is dedicated to functions including the exhibition hall, research, and development department, science and technology park, library and exhibition of digital achievements. After the central skyscraper, 14 towers with medical functions are added, and on the two ends of the island, 24 hotels are located. All these buildings are symmetrically arranged on both sides of the central skyscraper.
In conclusion, you can see the whole project in 5 layers:
The first layer is underground and dedicated to cars, pedestrians, parking, and green spaces.
For the next level, we have predicted futuristic transportation.
Then, in the site plan, the buildings are located
The next layer is the suspended path with parametric and Islamic patterns in the residential zone (hotels)
Finally, we have suspended sterile paths again with parametric and Islamic patterns among the medical towersThe sustainable approach of the Dubai Healthcare Center
Along with all the design principles considered for Dubai Healthcare Center, we had a sustainable approach in all design stages. The design of green spaces is considered not only in the site plan but also in all the levels of the buildings. The deep and green terraces in the residential area and having enough light due to shade provide a suitable space for the residents to rest and enjoy the view of the city and the Persian Gulf. Also, the suspended paths connecting the hotels offer excellent and favorable shade with fresh air flow for pedestrians as it approaches the ground and doubling green spaces.
Also, the multi-functional approach of this project will ensure that those who come to it for treatment will not need to stay in other Dubai hotels, and the hotels designed in this complex with the highest possible standards will be responsive to tourists. On the other hand, the research department is another turning point that will work in a complementary way to the medical department. Finally, we will have a collection that will face the sustainability standards from different social, economic, and environmental perspectives.Project Info
For starters, there’s the reusability aspect. A Falcon Heavy rocket is essentially three Falcon 9 first-stage boosters strapped together. All three are capable of coming back and landing vertically on the ground, to be reused later on. The side boosters being flown in this mission were both recovered from the Arabsat-6A mission conducted in April, so you could think of this mission as being made of approximately two-thirds recycled material.
Perhaps the most high-profile payload is LightSail 2, the Planetary Society’s prototype solar sail technology for propulsion in space. The concept behind a solar sail is to use sunlight as a mechanism for propelling a spacecraft through space, eliminating the need for a finite chemical propellant. LightSail 2 is made of ultrathin Mylar designed such that when photons hit the material, they exert a radiation pressure which produces a small bump in accelerative force, propelling the sail forward. It’s small, but over time, this force builds up more and more, and theoretically it could reach a velocity that surpasses our best chemical propellant technologies.
The $7 million LightSail 2 is the second iteration of the Planetary Society’s solar sail concept. The first, LightSail 1, was launched in 2023, but was only really meant to test out some of the spacecraft’s hardware and software.
LightSail 2 will go well beyond that, demonstrating the spacecraft’s ability to use sunlight alone to accelerate and increase its orbital distance from Earth. The sail, which is about 344 square feet and composed of four individual triangular sails, is folded into a 10-pound cubesat the size of a loaf of bread. A few days after the mission releases the cubesat into orbit, the solar sail will pop out, unfold, and spread into its full position. The entire sail is fitted with an array of solar cells, avionics, and other sensors to help the mission team navigate the spacecraft and control its orientation.
The team will turn the sail towards the sun for half of each orbit, and for about a month it will continue to speed up and until it hits a target altitude of about 447 miles, where it will be potentially visible in the night sky for about a year.
“It’s really a romantic notion that has tremendous practical applications,” Bill Nye, the CEO of the Planetary Society, told reporters during a media call Thursday. Solar sails, said Nye, could be used to help satellites reach speeds that could match Earth’s orbit, or be used as part of cargo delivery systems into deep space (something NASA’s future NEA Scout mission to the moon will seek to demonstrate). Solar sails are also seen as a potential solution for making interstellar travel more viable. We’re still decades away from that vision, but Nye emphasizes that “the only way anyone thinks we can do [interstellar travel] is with solar sails.”
The other high-profile project going up on Monday’s launch is NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM), a demonstration of an alternative form of in-space propulsion called AF-M315E, a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate fuel, that is purportedly less toxic, less costly, and more efficient than conventional chemical propellants.
Christopher McLean, the principal investigator for GPIM at Ball Aerospace, which is collaborating on the project, explains that this propellant is 50 percent denser, meaning “for the same volume we get 50 percent more ‘miles per gallon’, so to speak.” As far as safety goes, most conventional propellants like hydrazine have a very low vapor pressure, which means the gas can readily spread throughout a room and affect people’s health, as well as potentially react to other chemicals and start a fire. AF-M315E, on the other hand, has no vapor pressure—it could sit in a beaker on the counter without any concerns. “When we fuel the spacecraft, we can ship the fuel via FedEx,” says McLean. It can be installed into a rocket without much worry. As opposed to the myriad of occupational hazards posed by hydrazine (including as a potential carcinogen), McLean compares AF-M315E’s toxicity to household chemicals.
The GPIM spacecraft going up Monday is equipped with five thrusters for propulsion, steering, and acceleration. Over three months, the spacecraft will undergo a series of firings to demonstrate whether AF-M315E will allow the spacecraft to do everything expected of a viable propulsion system in space. The real milestone for GPIM will be slowing down to lower the spacecraft’s orbit with enough precision and control so it doesn’t plunge into the atmosphere. The following 10 months will involve more data collection as it uses up the rest of the fuel, after which the GPIM spacecraft will reenter the planet’s atmosphere.
AF-M315E probably won’t completely replace hydrazine, especially if it doesn’t get a decent name change. But McLean thinks if the test proves successful, AF-M315E’s safety profile and cost-effectiveness would make it appealing to parties looking to take part in spaceflight.
STP-2 is expected to launch at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, June 24, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a launch window open for four hours. SpaceX will, of course, attempt a landing of all three first-stage boosters, and you’ll be able to watch the mission live-streamed from the comfort of your home.
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