Bridge | Nigtevecht

This very special location differs from all the other crossings of the Amsterdam–Rhine Canal in that it is here that the Defence Line of Amsterdam (UNESCO World Heritage listed in 1996) meets the New Dutch Water Defence Line. This landscape and military cultural history is primarily about earth moving and inundation.

The project is based on the notion that the experience of the landscape and the bridge is comparable to the military objective of maintaining a clear view of the surrounding area. The absolute openness of the object vis-à-vis the surroundings maximizes its integration with the landscape and minimizes the visual impact of the bridge.

For the sake of the open fenland and the sight lines, it was decided to use compact bodies of soil that owe their formal language to the defensive works. They are furnished with ramps and provide a very pleasant, accessible and socially safe route to the top and down again. They prevent fragmentation of the historical landscape and the farmland and accommodate the new ecological stepping stones.

The structural effort involved in making the span stands in an interesting contrast to the relatively small load on the bridge and this relationship is directly reflected in the bridge’s chosen form. The main load-bearing structure and the deck are unembellished and clearly connected so that the whole is readily legible and, despite its civil engineering aesthetic, is very elegant. The fitness for purpose and consistency on display here are in the best Dutch tradition of civil engineering works.

Project details
commission: Best Value Procurement Tender | client: Boskalis | structural & landscape consultant: Witteveen+Bos | program: bridge | design: 2015