melkwegbridge by NEXT architects melkwegbridge by NEXT architects
nov 23, 2012

melkwegbridge by NEXT architects

melkwegbridge by NEXT architects, purmerend, the netherlandsimage © jeroen musch




‘melkwegbridge’ by amsterdam-based firm NEXT architects is a continuation of melkweg, which is part of the kanaalsprong master plan and connects the weidevenne district to the historical city centre of purmerend, in the netherlands. to conform to the angle of inclination requirements with regards to bicycle and wheelchair traffic, a length of over 100 meters was needed. to solve this challenge the paths were separated into two, one for pedestrians and the other for cycling. citizens cross the canal by a high arch which reaches a total height of over 12 meters creating a connection between the old and new districts making the bridge  more than just the fastest possible crossing, it becomes an end and an attraction.

arch reaching the height of 12m above water level offering an incredible view over the city




because pedestrian and bicycle traffic are separated, the footbridge can continue the direct line of the melkweg in the direction of the centre. the cycling bridge coils over the water to create sufficient length to limit the angle of inclination of the path. the section opens up and is divided diagonally consisting of two revolving overpass decks.

image © jeroen musch


detail of the arch



night view image © jeroen musch



LED lines follow the contour of the bridge generating a dynamic sight-line at duskimage © jeroen musch



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  • why?

    Vektor says:
  • Awesome. I wonder why the orange plates at the top of the arch?

    parker says:
  • @parker solar panel?

    des says:
  • yes, why? while it looks nice, it is a bit of a BS, to cross the river with a bridge like that, you might as well try to swim across, it’s less of a workout and think about the danger of a fall….haha
    and don’t blame it on regulations, just a total lack of consideration in the name of being “clever”….

    Chanyatola says:
  • With the number of elder citizens rising this seems like a very very strange idea. It makes for a nice picture, surely, but suppose for any reason you need to cross that bridge frequently. At a certain point you are going to be fed up with this mandatory excersie. I hope that in the nearby parts of Purmerend not too many elder people are living.

    This excercise in artistic design reminds of the Red bridge that connects the Europaboulevard with the Amstelpark in Amsterdam Buitenveldert. This rather arched bridge effectively cuts of many eldery people from going to that park as quite some homes for the elderly are located in that area. If you are in a wheelcair or use a rollator you are even warned about it. Lots of people were very angry about but the city council could not reverse the whole matter. They were so much critizised that they even subsidized taxis fares for the physically challenged people to get into the park via the main entrance.

    This bridge seems to fall into the same category. I would be very interested to hear how much input from the citizens this design (sic) bureau had organised and how they have taken into account the demographics of the neighbourhoods there in Purmerend.

    Edmond V.O. Katusz says:
  • the orange Plate is a traffic sign for boats..

    Kire says:
  • Very Nice

    ateeq says:
  • Not one pedestrian takes the higher route anymore

    mass says:

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