Design team: Chris de Weijer, Richelle de Jong, Robert Alewijnse, Harrie Hupperts
Photography: Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee, Mona van den Berg
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
The design of Bridge Erasmusgracht was driven by striking shapes and the intention to create an identity for its surroundings; shaping and revitalizing the Amsterdam neighborhoods the Kolenkitbuurt and the Laan van Spartaan. The specific contours were the direct result of the translation of its functional requirements and the forces at play. A district-defining waterway through Amsterdam, the Erasmusgracht is flanked by green slopes and umbrageous trees. In addition to its high recreational value for pedestrians, cyclists and recreational sailors, the canal carves a characteristic vein through the city. The new bridge over the Erasmusgracht connects two emerging neighborhoods in Bos en Lommer and will form an important route for slower traffic between north and south. This new connection over the Erasmusgracht was inspired by the existing environment, the planned developments of its surroundings, the specific requirements, ecology and its final purpose.
Playing on the forces that emerge from a structure with one asymmetrical support and considering the minimum span and headroom resulted in a highly recognizable composition. The bridge consists of a lightweight construction and two primary beams at each side of the bridge deck. The beams follow the lines of momentum and translate into the bridge’s handrails. Enclosed by welded steel plates with a light gray coating, the bridge mirrors the shimmering water below and reflects varying images and plays of light off the different planes. The bridge is meant to portray a tightly crease sheet of paper and finds its lightness from these technical and material choices.