Rijnhaven Bridge Rotterdam, Dutch Design Competition Images, Netherlands Architect

Rijnhaven Bridge Competition Netherlands

Dutch Development Design Contest by bureau SLA, Holland

4 Nov 2008

Rijnhaven Brug Rotterdam

The bridge that Rotterdam deserves, but is too afraid to build

The city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands likes to think of itself as the forerunner of daring architecture. Yet recently the city has shied away from the design of a new bridge in the harbour, for being too innovative. Evidence to the contrary galore, the city cannot believe the bridge, which is indeed striking, can be safely built and has made matters easy by simply excluding the design from the competition.

Rijnhaven Bridge Competition Rotterdam design

In February 2008 the city council invited five architects to design a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists on a prominent location next to high rise buildings of Foster, Mecanoo, Siza, OMA, Piano and Cruz y Ortiz. Ambition and innovation are called for: Rotterdam wants a bridge as daring as the hard-working, rough and ready city itself, a powerful image, a prominent landmark!

Rijnhaven Bridge Competition Rotterdam design

Renowned architects (offices) from Rotterdam itself (Quist Wintermans), Germany (Bolles & Wilson) and Denmark (Dissing & Weitling) are invited to enter the competition, as well as the young, promising Dutch architects bureau ZUS (Rotterdam) and bureau SLA (Amsterdam), of which four comply. Rotterdam thinks the bureau SLA design is very innovative, but also – very difficult.

Bureau SLA, with their engineering consultants DHV and Delcan, are asked for extended calculations. The city can hardly believe it: this bridge will not collapse? More calculations and details are asked for. The city’s engineers still cannot believe it. This is too difficult, surely this is madness! The best thing to do and be done with the whole conundrum is to disqualify the entry. And so it happened. The jury, consisting of Holland’s finest designers, are told not to look upon the scary bridge any further and Bureau SLA are expelled from participation in the competition.

Rijnhaven Bridge Competition Rotterdam design

The innovative – and disqualified – design is a joint production of bureau SLA , DHV and Delcan. Bureau SLA is a young architects office from Amsterdam, DHV a large and international consultancy and engineering company with offices in sixty cities in almost thirty countries. Delcan is an engineering company with a specialized office in Vancouver, Canada: they know all about hydraulics. The encounter of the young architects with the experienced engineers turned out to be highly productive. The architects provided an astonishing design, the engineers developed it into a realistic and technically optimized bridge. Daring, powerful, a prominent landmark.

Rijnhaven Bridge Competition Rotterdam design

In closed position the bridge is calm and serene. It lies next to the Erasmus-bridge, a design of UN Studio. No more great gestures are called for, here. The bridge is a straight line over the water surface. Nothing reveals the fact that the bridge can move. But approximately five times a day the bridge will open. Like a gargantuan pair of scissors, the long road transforms into a seventy meter high cross that ships pass on both sides. Now, this is a sight to see, a true landmark. Indeed, the kind of bridge a city like Rotterdam is in need of. The bridge the city ought to have, but is too afraid to build.

Rijnhaven Bridge Rotterdam images / information from bureau SLA 041108

Copyright all images: bureau SLA, Amsterdam


Location: Rijnhaven Brug, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, western Europe

Architecture in Rotterdam

Rotterdam Architecture Designs – chronological list

Rotterdam Architecture Tours

Rotterdam Architecture Studios

Rotterdam Architecture – Selection

Erasmus Bridge
Design: UN Studio Architects
Erasmus Bridge Rotterdam

Nesselande Station + ‘Absence of Light’ Bridge
Design: Hans Moor Architects
Rotterdam Bridge

SAWA, Lloydquarter
Design: Mei architects and planners
SAWA wooden building Lloydquarter Rotterdam
image © WAX
SAWA wooden building Lloydquarter

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
Design: MVRDV, architects
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam building
Aerial photograph of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen © Ossip van Duivenbode
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Stadiumpark Area vision
Design: KCAP
Stadionpark Rotterdam

More information: Check YOUTUBE. Type Rijnhavenbrug on www.youtube.com to see the animation of the working bridge.

More project information: www.bureauSLA.nl/rijnhavenbrug

Coolsingel Project
Design: OMA
Coolsingel Rotterdam

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