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New Dutch Bridge : Nesselande Station Rotterdam

Nesselande Station + ‘Absence of Light’ Bridge design by Hans Moor Architects, NL

24 Sep 2007

Nesselande Station + ‘Absence of Light’ Bridge

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Date built: 2007
Design: Hans Moor Architects

Photo © Maarten Laupman:
Nesselande Station, Absence of Light Bridge, Rotterdam
image from Hans Moor Architects 240907


Principal: OBR (Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam) with cooperation Ds+V Dienst stedebouw en volkshuisvesting Rotterdam

design brug ‘absence of light’: 2003; construction/completion: 2005

OBR Rotterdam, Galvanistraat 15, 3029 AD Rotterdam

Bridge ‘Absence of light’
Architect: Hans Moor Architects, Vasteland 8, 3011 BK Rotterdam

Absence of Light Bridge Rotterdam
image from Hans Moor Architects 031007

Bridge ‘Absence of light’

Information from Hans Moor Architects

Oct 2007


If you are in a car by daylight and you race across a bridge, you’ll experience the bridge as being just a point because your environment changes just for a brief moment. Terra firma makes way for moving water. This transition, together with ’the brightness of water’ transforms the experience and makes space to the bridge.

This basic principle in the design means that the bridge is not lit by lampposts or lights. The bridge transforms because it is lit ‘of itself’. Patches of light arising from differences in configuration indicate the track on which the car moves forward. Because of this ‘artificial lighting’ the driver will experience the bridge not only by way of its connecting function, but it will also provide a spatial experience.

The bridge is constructed from concrete in combination with glass ‘dots’. These units, which were specially developed by a supplier of glass and light, are made entirely of glass through which daylight travels and makes the space lighter under the bridge during daytime. These glass units are fitted with 2,500 led modules and provide sufficient and even light for the roadway.

Nesselande Station Rotterdam Nesselande Station Rotterdam Nesselande Station Rotterdam
photos from Hans Moor Architects


A decision was made in the design to use oblique columns in every direction. This means that the horizontal sides of the bridges are accentuated. The bridge seems to sway and therefore to defy gravity. Also, the pillars (4 fingers) on the underside are linked visually which gives the effect of a bridge which is resting on the water.

Absence of Light Bridge Absence of Light Bridge Absence of Light Bridge Nesselande Station Absence of Light Bridge Rotterdam
photos from Hans Moor Architects

Variant for the pedestrian

The pedestrian walks over a perforated steel section which is interrupted every 3 meters by glass which is lit from below. The lighting in the pedestrian section is designed differently because of the experience of light for the pedestrian on the bridge. Safety also plays a different role here and much better lighting is required.

Absence of Light Bridge information from Hans Moor Architects 031007

Hans Moor Architects

Location: Nesselande Station, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, northern Europe

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