Rijnhaven Bridge Rotterdam, Dutch Design Competition, Images, Architect
Rijnhaven Bridge Competition : Design Contest Netherlands
Dutch Development – design by bureau SLA, Holland
4 Nov 2008
Rijnhaven Brug Rotterdam
The bridge that Rotterdam deserves, but is too afraid to build
The city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands likes to think of itself as the forerunner of daring architecture. Yet recently the city has shied away from the design of a new bridge in the harbour, for being too innovative. Evidence to the contrary galore, the city cannot believe the bridge, which is indeed striking, can be safely built and has made matters easy by simply excluding the design from the competition.
In February 2008 the city council invited five architects to design a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists on a prominent location next to high rise buildings of Foster, Mecanoo, Siza, OMA, Piano and Cruz y Ortiz. Ambition and innovation are called for: Rotterdam wants a bridge as daring as the hard-working, rough and ready city itself, a powerful image, a prominent landmark!
Renowned architects (offices) from Rotterdam itself (Quist Wintermans), Germany (Bolles & Wilson) and Denmark (Dissing & Weitling) are invited to enter the competition, as well as the young, promising Dutch architects bureau ZUS (Rotterdam) and bureau SLA (Amsterdam), of which four comply. Rotterdam thinks the bureau SLA design is very innovative, but also – very difficult. Bureau SLA, with their engineering consultants DHV and Delcan, are asked for extended calculations. The city can hardly believe it: this bridge will not collapse? More calculations and details are asked for. The city’s engineers still cannot believe it. This is too difficult, surely this is madness! The best thing to do and be done with the whole conundrum is to disqualify the entry. And so it happened. The jury, consisting of Holland’s finest designers, are told not to look upon the scary bridge any further and Bureau SLA are expelled from participation in the competition.
The innovative – and disqualified – design is a joint production of bureau SLA , DHV and Delcan. Bureau SLA is a young architects office from Amsterdam, DHV a large and international consultancy and engineering company with offices in sixty cities in almost thirty countries. Delcan is an engineering company with a specialized office in Vancouver, Canada: they know all about hydraulics. The encounter of the young architects with the experienced engineers turned out to be highly productive. The architects provided an astonishing design, the engineers developed it into a realistic and technically optimized bridge. Daring, powerful, a prominent landmark.
In closed position the bridge is calm and serene. It lies next to the Erasmus-bridge, a design of UN Studio. No more great gestures are called for, here. The bridge is a straight line over the water surface. Nothing reveals the fact that the bridge can move. But approximately five times a day the bridge will open. Like a gargantuan pair of scissors, the long road transforms into a seventy meter high cross that ships pass on both sides. Now, this is a sight to see, a true landmark. Indeed, the kind of bridge a city like Rotterdam is in need of. The bridge the city ought to have, but is too afraid to build.
Rijnhaven Bridge Rotterdam images / information from bureau SLA 041108
Copyright all images: bureau SLA, Amsterdam
Location: Rijnhaven Brug, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Architecture in Rotterdam
Rotterdam Architecture Designs – chronological list
Rotterdam Buildings – Selection
UN Studio Architects
Erasmus Bridge Rotterdam
Nesselande Station + ‘Absence of Light’ Bridge
Hans Moor Architects
Stadiumpark Area vision
More information: Check YOUTUBE. Type Rijnhavenbrug on www.youtube.com to see the animation of the working bridge.
More project information: www.bureauSLA.nl/rijnhavenbrug
Comments / photos for the Rijnhaven Bridge Competition Rotterdam page welcome