Nature-inclusive Amstelstroom Bridge functions as a new link in Amsterdam’s infrastructural and ecological network. Providing ample space in, on and under this bridge for a wide range of living beings to co-exist as part of urban nature, we made the integral design in a dedicated team with ecologists and constructors.
Robust and richly detailed Spanning Duivendrechtsevaart, Amstelstroom Bridge functions as the entrance of the rapidly developing Amstelkwartier-area. It caters to all traffic with extra generosity for cyclists and pedestrians since these are eco-friendly modes of transportation that stimulate social interaction and a lively streetscape.
From afar, the bridge shows its slim silhouette; coming closer, the huge variety of small openings for bees, bats, and birds appear. All materials used are sustainable, recyclable and age beautifully and all include shelters and nest boxes. The robust concrete pillars hold cages with wood under water to accommodate a habitat for fish and mussels. Nurseries for bats and swallows can be found just underneath the bridge. The pillars and the brick edges contain nesting boxes for ten species of birds, such as kingfishers, sparrows, and starlings.
Small animals; major source of inspiration. To complete the biodiversity cycle, the central axis of the bridge holds an elongated bed of local, carefully selected flowers and herbs – a blooming destination to butterflies and bees. These bees have their own so-called hotels: series of small holes in bricks. The richly detailed red brick walls, benches and pylons evoke that Amsterdam School-tradition to be found throughout the whole Amstelkwartier area.
The passage under the bridge is accompanied by an undulating pattern in the masonry. Also, exceptional recesses in the bridge deck allows sunlight into this passage. The artificial lights are subtle to create a safe and attractive place for pedestrians and a comfortable nightlife for animals at the same time.
The team has designed an apparently functional assignment, a bridge, with the smallest animals as a major source of inspiration.