The bridge spans the southern part of the ecological lake and is part of the architectural program of the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum. In line with the design concept and forms of the museum buildings, the idea behind the Scenic Bridge is also based on caoshu, a cursive Chinese script. The dynamic momentum of its streamlined curve leads visitors from the entry plaza along the landscape path and finally to the museum’s bamboo courtyard.
The bridge has an unpretentious and lightweight profile, and by eschewing the use of central piers, it does not affect the existing waterproofing membranes of the lake. Spanning about 140 m, this box-girder arch bridge with a single steel arch takes the form of a curve rising just above the water, with the apex of the arch only 16 m from the bridge paving. The S-shaped bridge deck creates continuity with the silhouettes of the main buildings—gently arcing over the lake rather than roughly dissecting it. The S-deck is connected by rectangular rods to the arch, and as the deck curves, the rods gradually tilt, creating a series of elegant rhythms.
The main walkway is paved with dark gray granite tiles, the same as are used in the museum courtyard and throughout the main circulation (i.e. they are the “smear element” in the overall design concept), and with cast-iron plates engraved with traditional dragon, horse, and elephant patterns. Placed at strategic intervals, these wedge-shaped metal plates permit the paving to follow the S-shaped curve of the bridge. Meanwhile, a laminated-glazed overhang meanders above, providing shelter from sun and rain, and the finely detailed balustrade leans subtly inwards and is topped with solid wooden handrails.
The Scenic Bridge was designed for pedestrian traffic but could also support electric cars if necessary. On special occasions, large groups can gather on the bridge to watch fireworks or other performances on the lake. The bridge incorporates views of the surrounding landscapes and is enhanced by nighttime illumination after dusk, providing visitors with a charming and unique strolling experience.