How do you solve a problem like driving on the opposite side on the road? You just flip it over – and that’s exactly what Dutch architectural firm NL Architects wants to do with part of a road connection between Hong Kong and mainland China.
Here’s the problem – in Hong Kong, people drive on the left hand side of the road (it was a former British colony). However, in China, they drive on the right hand side of the road. You can see the problem with trying to merge the two.
But NL Architects believes they have a solution – they’ve proposed a “Flipper” bridge concept. And it really is quite cool to look at – the halves of the roadway split and cross over and under each other. This would allow traffic to blend seamlessly into the correct flow during the border crossing. Says the firm about their design: “The Flipper is a device that is designed to ‘celebrate’ the traffic switch. Can we turn the moment of swapping into an unforgettable spectacle?”
The design was submitted to the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities International Design Ideas Competition and is called the Pearl River Necklace. This contest was held to come up with an inspiring design for a transportation hub planned for construction on an artificial island. The NL Architects’ entry did not place in the contest, but the innovative twisty bridge idea caught the attention of fans worldwide.
Kamiel Klaasse of NL Architects said that firm’s traffic flipper idea was “speculative,” but that “it was important to us to show that road design could be interesting and maybe even fun.”