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West 8 Creates a Maze-Like Garden of Bridges in China

New elevated walkways in China will send visitors on a rolling maze above the bamboo.

West 8 Creates a Maze-Like Garden of Bridges in China

Come spring, New York’s spectacularly popular High Line will face some stiff competition for the title of World’s Coolest Elevated Walkway. West 8, a Dutch urban design and landscaping firm, is creating a rolling labyrinth of land-bridges in China that — forget views of concrete! — lets visitors hover, bird-like, above the wilds.

Conceived of for the 2011 Xi’an International Horticulture Exhibition, the concrete bridges rise steeply over a dense bamboo garden, arcing through the foliage for a bird’s eye view of the grounds. A single, circuitous path links the bridges to the rest of the garden [see rendering below]. And here’s the kicker: It’s designed so that you never know where you are or how far you’ve traveled; in other words, it’s supposed to make you feel lost. It’s like The Blair Witch Project. Without the snot. Awesome.

West 8’s design isn’t the first elevated nature walk on earth. Kew Gardens in the UK installed a temporary treetop walkway a few years back, and Philadelphia threw up a permanent one just last year. But this one manages to be the most elaborate one we’ve come across — even if it’s not quite as elaborate as the name suggests. They call it the Garden of 10,000 Bridges. (Though we count just five?)

[The bridges, under construction]

The bridges should be done in April. Check back on our site then for more pics.

[Images courtesy of West 8]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.