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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Melkweg Bridge in Purmerend, the Netherlands by NEXT Architects

December 1st, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: NEXT Architects

The Melkweg bridge is located in Purmerend, the Netherlands. The bridge is part of the masterplan ‘De Kanaalsprong’ and connects the historic city center with the towns’ new district.

“The aim of the design team was to create a new area with a specific identity, which could work as a connector between the old and the new centre.”

Image Courtesy Jeroen Musch 

  • Architects: NEXT Architects
  • Project: Melkweg Bridge
  • Location: Purmerend, the Netherlands
  • Photography: Jeroen Musch, Piet Jonker
  • Program: Bridge
  • Span: 66 mtr
  • Cost / Value: Euro 6.000.000,00
  • Status: Completed
  • Preliminary design: Sep 2007
  • Final design: Nov 2009
  • Start building: May 2011
  • Completion: Oct 2012
  • Client: Municipality of Purmerend
  • Collaborator: Ronald Rietveld Landschaparchitectuur
  • Advisor construction: Ingenieurs Bureau Amsterdam (IBA), ABT adviesbureau voor Bouwtechniek
  • Contractor(s): Van Hattum en Blankevoort
  • Main contractor: VSF
  • Installations: Istemawa

Image Courtesy Jeroen Musch

The most striking part of the bridge, designed by NEXT architects, is a massive arch which reaches the height of 12m above water level and stands in a continuous line with the Melkweg-road, thus offering an incredible view over the city. The high lookout is an attraction in itself and lets pedestrians fully experience the relation between the new and historic center of Purmerend.

Image Courtesy Jeroen Musch

Bicycles and remainder traffic cross the bridge using the 100m long bicycle deck. One bank is higher than the other so to achieve the gentle slope required for bicycles and wheelchairs, the team needed to create a 100-metre-long pathway. This deck was designed as a pendulum over the water, so that the slope could be limited to a minimum.

Image Courtesy Jeroen Musch

Because pedestrian traffic was separated from cyclists, the direct line between the Melkweg-road and city centre could remain. Furthermore the 48m arch remains the fastest possible way to cross the water.

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

The pedestrian bridge weighs 85 tons, consists of 130 steps and is supported by a steel arch. The design makes it able to retain the spatial openness of the channel and its surroundings. Both bridge sections flow smoothly into each other and form one whole.

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

This unity is enhanced by the continuity of materials and colors. In the edges of the bridge LED lines are applied that follow the contour of the bridge and guarantees a spectacular view on the bridge even after sunset.

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Image Courtesy Piet Jonker

Plan bridge : Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Section A : Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Section B : Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Site plan : Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

Image Courtesy NEXT Architects

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Category: Bridge

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