UPDATE 23 october 2018: the zalige bridge has won the dutch design awards 2018’s prestigious internationally jury award. ‘the result is a striking image that not only sheds light on the impact of climate change, but literally makes users endure the consequences,’ explains the international jury.

 

 

NEXT architects has designed a bridge in the netherlands that is only accessible via stepping stones. located in the dutch city of nijmegen, the design celebrates the region’s high water levels by serving as a new visitor attraction where pedestrians can walk over the bridge and through the adjacent river park. ‘the zalige bridge was completed in march 2016, but only now it is able to show its real strength as an integral part of the path structure of the urban river park in nijmege,’ say the architects.

NEXT architects zalige bridge
zalige bridge is only accessible via stepping stones
image by jan daanen (main image by rutger hollander) | all images © NEXT architects

 

 

the zalige bridge is part of a nationwide project that prevents flooding by giving the river more room. ‘all designs by NEXT architects start from the unique characteristics of a place,’ says michel schreinemachers, partner at NEXT architects. ‘this bridge is built on the floodplains; this fact was used to design a bridge that strongly connects and interacts with the river landscape; as a path over the water.’

NEXT architects zalige bridge
the scheme is located in the dutch city of nijmegen
image by jan daanen

 

 

the river’s average height means that bridge stands high above the water. however, when water levels rise, some parts of the structure are submerged, changing its appearance and its use. the bridge landings and the stepping stones have been designed to be perfectly aligned with the profile of the landscape. importantly, the scheme emphasizes the dynamic character of water by letting people experience the changing river landscape.

NEXT architects zalige bridge
the design celebrates the region’s high water levels by serving as a new visitor attraction
image by jan daanen

NEXT architects zalige bridge
pedestrians can walk over the bridge and through the adjacent river park
image by rutger hollander

NEXT architects zalige bridge
the project is part of a nationwide initiative that prevents flooding by giving the river more room
image by rutger hollander

NEXT architects zalige bridge
the site’s ‘normal’ appearance without flooding
image by jeroen bosch


sectional drawings (click for larger version)

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