Bridging Boundaries

Super Architecture Studio, Malaysia


Explanatory Note

Redefining Culture and Traditions
To bring people from all walks of life to come together for the appreciation of the arts and culture of Yaroslavl.



Separating two landmasses is the Kotorosl River, a body that divides. While there are several other bridges that are established along the stretch of the river up to the river mouth, the Tolbuhinsky Bridge establishes itself as one of the more functionally active bridges as it bridges masses of important spaces from one bank to another.

Bridging Boundaries
Bridging Boundaries

The evidence of a higher concentration of functional spaces that surrounds this particular bridge defines its importance and hierarchy.

Bridges are most often than not looked upon as a transitional space, a space where its experience is ephemeral. Hence, to further accentuate the importance of the Tolbuhinsky Bridge that connects two regions of landmasses, the establishment of the spaces that surround the bridge has to evoke a sense of communal allure and an appreciation for the dated functions of said bridge.

The Northern part of the land that the bridge connects, host most of the industrial activities in Yaroslavl while the Southern section holds most of the residential areas. Hence, the bridge plays an important role for the daily commute of these residents from their homes to their work place. This form of physical bridging implies how boundaries of two different areas are connected together with the establishment of the bridge.

The erection of the Tobulhinsky Bridge also suggests four utilizable spaces on either side of the bridge on each mass of land located on either end of the river bank. This thus, spurred us to establish four different zones for four different functional spaces.

Establishing a site which acts as a hub for the historical, cultural and recreational aspects for the people of Yaroslavl will not only celebrate the existing way of life of these people but also seeks to introduce a lifestyle that is active and socially engaging.

Taking into account how welding is also part of the age old process of joining materials together such as the use of metals and plastics, the origins of welding in Russia seeks to expose how like the process of coalescence, the cultural backgrounds and the people are coming together through the establishment of effective programming. And through such programs, garnering attention into this area will eventually expose the traditions and culture of the Russians to the rest of the world. This is an aspect where many would grow to appreciate.


Façade System

Given the lack of activities thereof within the vicinity of the Tobulhinsky Bridge, there is a need to create an attraction for the site so as to lure tourism and business into the area. Given the four zone separation that is defined by the bridge and the river, an element has to be introduced to tie these four zones together. A skin or façade that helps to define the site would create an element that is symbolic to the Tolbuhinsky Bridge. As such, a skin-like structure comprising of art panels are representative of our design scheme; one that incorporates vibrant art panels that symbolizes the vibrant culture of Yaroslavl. While this skin ties these four zones together, each zone has its definitive design so as to tell each zone apart.

The flexibility of such a skin design sees that the face of this façade can be altered from time to time based on seasons or major events.

Art Panels

Our idea of adopting the origins of welding in Yaroslavl incorporates the use of panels or frames that vertically blankets the edge of the bridge as well as the riverbank. A skin-like pattern with the use of frames that are placed in a rhythmic pattern provides an avenue or a means of displaying artworks along the riverbank of the Kotorosl River as well as the Tobulhinsky Bridge.

Encouraging the community and local artistes to put up their artworks will not only help instill a sense of patriotism but also enables people from various international backgrounds to better understand the arts culture of Yaroslavl. Apart from that, tourists are also given the opportunity to exhibit their artworks. This form of cultural and arts exchange is a unique feature that will be a hit for the local community.

This activity gives life to the local paint industries as well as place emphasis on the beginnings of paint industries in Yaroslavl. With readily available paint materials, both locals and tourists are able to portray and exhibit their talent in the form of visual illustrations.

The frames that hold the art panels are proposed to be flexible and rotatable to create different perspectives. How certain panels are viewed at an angle provides a play of how certain featured art can be looked at. This indicates

how enigmatic art can be looked at in different perspectives which is part of its beauty.

The different heights and slits between frames aim to provide visual transparency towards the river. Panels towards the middle of the bridge are deliberately spaced further apart to allow vision towards the Kotorosl River where activities such as boat rides during summer and ice-related sports during winter which reflect the culture of the Russians. The varied spacing also provide an architectural rhythm on how the panels are placed along the defined perimeter of the centralized hub.


By establishing a centralized hub for various functions and activities, the luring of tourists into the site will garner interest into the zone and increase trade opportunity for the residents. Furthermore, the generation of these spaces will increase job opportunities for the locals and will in turn benefit the region economically. Industries such as the boat-making and paint industries will benefit tremendously from this proposal given the need to provide paint and boats for the area’s cultural sustenance. The establishment of a new means of transportation for the tourists will thus employ boating and ship facilities which will also positively impact the economy.

In terms of socio-cultural advantages, the establishment of the market place, recreational park, platform for socializing activities and sports arena will thus heighten communal activities and inculcate community involvement amongst the residents. More events will be organized within the vicinity. Major sporting events will act as an advertising platform for the region, demonstrating the country’s abilities to host such events as well as expose the culture and traditions of the people on an international stage.


Super Architecture Studio 

Angus Lee Ching Hua
Bruce Lee Xia Sheng
Caleb Ong Yan Weng
David Koo Mei Da
Lim Yee Zhing
Mohammad Syarulnizam Mohd Nasir Tang Hui Ying Delaney 

We are a team from the university’s architecture faculty comprising of 5 students and 2 tutors. Given our keenness in exploring and discovering architecture more than what is being taught during lessons, our participation in this competition hopes to expose ourselves to different methods of designing and responsiveness to a different community.

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