The Pearl River Necklace


  • Take a look at this proposal of Amsterdam-based NL Architects. Their brilliant concept for this ‘necklace’ highway bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China proves that the most creative ideas are very often simple ideas. The bridge’s dynamic twisted form easily solves the problem of differences in driving styles between the two areas (in Hong Kong people drive on the left side of the road, in China people drive on the right side). With the implementation of the so-called ‘Flipper’, the architects claim to redirect traffic in an efficient and safe way, and even ‘celebrate’ the traffic switch.

    “Hong Kong has traffic on the left where China has traffic on the right. In principle, this additional complexity has to be solved inside the Border Crossing Facilities. Within the proposed master lay-out plan this leads to fairly unarticulated intersections. It solves the switch, but does not ‘communicate’ itp properly. In fact the proposed switches mimic a regular interchange; they do not stage a special event. Can we turn the moment of swapping into an unforgettable spectacle?”


    The proposal for the iconic bridge is part of a greater plan consisting of an archipelago of artificial islands along the border of Hong Kong and China. Nevertheless, the Pearl River Necklace design wasn’t selected to win an architecture competition organized by the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities. Click here to view a slideshow at the website of NL Architects.