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Dafne Schippers Bridge

NEXT architects

Can a bicycle create a neighborhood?


Researches say that Dutch people own more bicycles than any other population in the world. In a land holding such a record, where bike sharing isn’t even a thing, as everyone owns his personal ecologic means of transportation, what would be more useful than a new bicycle and pedestrian route?

Designed by NEXT architects and Rudy Uytenhaak + Partners Architecten i.c.w., Bureau B+B Urbanism and Arup and Landscape Architecture for the city of Utrecht, the Dafne Schippers Bridge spans for 110 m over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, connecting the historical city centre with the new neighbourhood of Leidsche Rijn.

A new video by Marcel IJzerman now showcase the unique design that integrates a bicycle and pedestrian bridge with a school and a park. The video aims to give a comprehensive reading of the area related to the bridge, that as cohesive whole offers an iconic space to the activities of cyclists, neighbourhood residents, a local primary school, the municipality, and the shipping business.

Mixing aerial footage, the video shows the vibrance of the space as well as the poetic smartness of the integrated design: the cyclists travelling from the city centre to Leidsche Rijn cycle to a height of nine metres as they veer around Victor Hugo park in a wide bend, taking them across the roof of the school and over the canal. NEXT architects and partners (which also includes the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) redesigned an area by integrating functions and making the bridge integral part of the public space in the neighbourhood, making it is an important meeting point for local residents and schoolchildren. The multiple heights of crossings, the curves transformed in small playground, the maximum space for greenery makes the Dafne Schippers bridge unique, not only as a bridge but also as a place in its own right. A clear statement in terms of use of public space and infrastructure that conveys the reasons why Dafne Schippers bridge received an honourable mention for the Dutch Concrete Prize 2017 and was nominated for the Roof of the Year Awards 2016.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Director: Marcel IJzerman
Architects: NEXT architects, Rudy Uytenhaak + Partners Architects i.c.w., Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture, Arup
Mentioned project: Dafne Schippers Bridge (2015-2017)
Project location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Netherlands 2017
Duration: 1'49"