China completes what is officially the world’s tallest and longest glass-bottom bridge hanging at 300 metres above a gigantic and breathtaking canyon in Zhangjiajie in the Hunan province. Impressive, daring or crazy?
Workers, called ‘daredevils’ by some, have recently connected the last steel decks linking the 380 metres long, 6 metre wide, £2.6 million (26 million Yuan) price tag structure. The record breaking bridge that seems fresh out of a sci-fi film, has a glass bottom overlooking a spectacular canyon and the surrounding stunning nature of the Tianmenshan National Forest Park.
The attraction, whose opening is July 2016 when it will be inaugurated fully furnished, beats the Grand Canyon walkway in Arizona, which itself hangs 300 metres above ground. The Zhangjiajie suspended bridge constructed of two steel side beams and a structural transparent glass floor with handrails and side hanging stay cables took over a year to build and has an incredible story behind it. Often called ‘terrifying’, the structure was designed by Haim Dotan, a prominent Israeli architect known for innovative, cutting-edge ecological architecture and urban design in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Dotan and his team design public and private projects throughout the world.
Dotan shares ’As the designer of this bridge, located in an incredible and magical national park, I believe in nature, harmony, balance and beauty. Nature is beautiful as is. One wants to make the least impact upon it. Therefore, the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be as invisible as possible – a white bridge disappearing into the clouds... it will create an experience of being in pure nature while suspended in mid-air, between heaven and earth, like a bird with its wings open wide. Hundreds of metres above a canyon, it is definitely a Bridge of Wonder, a Bridge of Courage. I called it “Bridge of Courageous Hearts”. Maximum capacity for the skywalk is around 800 tourists at a time, who will soon also be able to enjoy bungee jumping and zip-lining from the spectacular structure. And plans are underway to hold fashion shows along the glass-bottom bridge.