A Token of Nature

Bridge designer Tan GuoHong poses for a photo -- Photo/Hussain Saeed
Bridge designer Tan GuoHong poses for a photo -- Photo/Hussain Saeed

For the keen eye, inspiration can be found in everything around us. Be it the cold breeze that caresses your skin in the middle of a cold night, or the gentle rustle of the leaves of a tree; inspiration is certainly all around us. And when an artist takes inspiration from the elements of nature, some of the best work of mankind come into existence. An inspired mind knows no finite boundaries; only an endless combination of possible outcomes – something that Tan GuoHong has proven with the attractive designs he has produced for the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge.

As Tan GuoHong says, the beauty of Maldives is unmatched and untainted despite modern development; and that is the main inspiration behind the design of the bridge – the natural beauty of the Maldives. For him, it was essential to preserve and showcase what the Maldives is through his work; thousands of isles surrounded by the crystal clear purity of the Indian Ocean. Tan GuoHong’s descriptions of the design saw him going through the core ideas he had for the design; crashing waves and open clams. His idea was simple – to portray the nature of Maldives within the bridge, and in the end result the main arches of the bridge represents just that.

The design and research phase took more than a year itself, and the China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance & Design Institute is exceptionally experienced in designing bridges – and their works are literal examples that are scattered across China and the whole world at large. From suspension bridges to cantilever bridges, the company had done it all.

Bridge designer Tan GuoHong poses for a photo -- Photo/Hussain Saeed
Bridge designer Tan GuoHong poses for a photo — Photo/Hussain Saeed

The tricky location of the bridge was a great challenge for the designer. One end of the bridge meeting Ibrahim Nasir International Airport was something that had barred many options; such as a suspension or a truss bridge design. And the speed of the waves that travel between the area was yet another concern, as it would put a constant pressure on the bridge. But regardless of the challenges, Tan GuoHong had overcome all of these as his design caters to all of the needs without being a hindrance to the operations of the airport either.

Out of the two designs that were made for the bridge, the one we see today was chosen since it best fit the environment and surroundings of the construction site.

Tan GuoHong believes that no matter what the obstacles are, the construction of the bridge would be rather successful and beyond the expectations of thousands. He added that both the companies BRDI and CCCC – which are handling the construction side of the project – would be able to successfully pull off the project, making the Maldivian dream of a bridge a reality after decades of being just a dream – as they are rather experienced in such works.

Tan GuoHong emphasized on the fact that the bridge which will connect three different islands in the greater Male’ area and that the experience of working on this bridge was of great importance to him as it would be the first bridge to grace the “pearl of the Indian Ocean”. He also reiterated the government’s aim of further strengthening the friendship between the citizens of China and Maldives.


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