Hangzhou is awarded the right to host the 2022 Asian Games (XIX ASIAD). The Asian Games Village site is located along the east coast of Hangzhou Qiantang River, close to the Qianjiang Century City CBD. The masterplan covers 2.96 km², which is 3 km away from the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center (Asian Games main stadium area). The Athlete Village will accommodate all involved with the Asian Games; from performing athletes, to referees and media personnel. The future aim is to incorporate the village into Hangzhou’s Central Business District – this will be achieved by making place for businesses and trade. The forward-thinking village will accommodate 60,000 inhabitants, and will encourage a fully sustainable and environmentally friendly standard of living for society. The total land-area of planning is 3.26 km², of which 2.41 km² will be dedicated to the construction of the Asian Games Village. A controlled green belt along the Zhegang Railway will comprise 0.55 km² and the Qiantang Riverside Park area will comprise 0.3 km². The planning of this area is in close proximity to the main stadium for the Asian Games. Benjing Road Bridge was designed in the course of an architectural competition with the task of developing seven bridges in the 2022 Asian Games Athlete Village. It is one out of two winning concepts that derived from Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute and Jadric Architektur ZT GmbH. The first purpose of every bridge is to span physical obstacles without being an obstacle in itself, blocking passage over a body of water or a valley, usually something that can be detrimental to cross otherwise. At the same time, in Chinese gardens, bridges are built over waterways as a symbol of passage to an important place or a state of mind (a set of five bridges cross a meandering waterway in an important courtyard of the Forbidden City a.o.). The concept is deeply rooted in history and tradition of Hangzhou, whose identity is closely connected to the water. The City of Hangzhou, probably the most famous of all water towns, could therefore also be called the City of Bridges. Also in the Waterpark of the future Sport Village for ASIAD 2022, every single of the seven bridges serves a particular purpose and addresses different situations. Some of them are very exposed and visible from afar, others will be more low-key and support daily traffic of different users in a sophisticated traffic system. Benjing Road Bridge follows the typology of numerous famous covered bridges built in Europe and Asia in the past centuries. This bridge offers excellent protection for pedestrians from the weather elements. Benjing Road Bridge also accommodates other content, such as shops and small businesses along both sides. It is the continuation of a major pedestrian thoroughfare and links the complex contents on both river banks and in the streets behind them. Acting like a water pavilion, it creates a very “urban” situation. It enables pleasant and easy pedestrian traffic regardless of the weather conditions.
Mladen Jadric is teaching (TU) and practicing architecture in Vienna, Austria. He has realized a wide range of projects of different scales: architectural and urban design projects, housing, residences, art installations and experiments with new materials and technologies in Austria, USA, Finland and China. He has gained extensive experience as a visiting professor and guest lecturer in Europe, USA, Asia, Australia, and South America. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, M.I.T., Cooper Union, and Roger Williams University, USA, Alvar Aalto University, Helsinki, the Architectural Biennale in Venice, the World Architectural Triennale in Tokyo, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urban Planning, NIT-Nagoya, and many more. He received the State Award for Experimental Architecture, Karl Scheffel Preis and Schorsch Preis for housing by the City of Vienna, Grand Prize by the Mayor of Busan, Korea. He is a Member of Künstlerhaus.