Sunday 26 November 2023

Living Beneath the Shuikousi Bridge: A Unique Residential Experience in Guiyang, China

In Guiyang, China, the Shuikousi Bridge stands as a unique testament to urban living, with more than 10 residential buildings positioned beneath its 300-meter-long span. Completed in May 1997, this bridge, initially constructed for the airport expressway, became the foundation for low-rent and resettlement housing projects.

The close proximity between the bridge and the rooftop of these dwellings, some less than a meter apart, creates an unconventional living arrangement. Residents have adapted to the continuous vibrations caused by passing heavy vehicles, turning their homes into spaces where the floors shake with each car or truck traversing the bridge.

Initially built to address the need for housing in the 1990s, the residential buildings were completed in 1999. However, the unconventional living conditions posed challenges, with residents experiencing constant noise, vibrations, and even sleep disturbances. Some even resorted to using cotton wool in their ears to cope with the din.

Over the years, efforts were made to mitigate the disturbances. In September 2009, the Guiyang city highway was opened, diverting heavy traffic away from the bridge during the evenings. While this alleviated some of the noise, residents now contend with a new challenge – dust from the road.

Despite the unique challenges, life under the Shuikousi Bridge has persisted for nearly two decades. Residents have created a vibrant community beneath, with shops operating and daily life unfolding against the backdrop of constant movement and sound. In a city of four million people, Guiyang stands as a testament to the adaptability and resilience of its residents in the face of unconventional living conditions.


  1. Editorial Footage
  2. Imago Images
  3. Daily Mail


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