The bridge connects two very different urban waterfronts: the monumental industrial warehouses in neo-renaissance style on the northern bank and the small scale timber Zaan-style houses and villas on the southern bank. Even though the soffit height and the nautical width of the bridge will increase, the new Zaan Bridge will be subservient in scale and appearance to the buildings that surround it. The new Zaanbridge is an urban bridge that is in perfect harmony with the site without wanting to dominate.
For almost a century the familiar silhouette of a Dutch lifting bridge has been the connection between the two towns. People experiences a lifting bridge of this typology as a gate between two communities; the balance plateau and counter weight connects the two pillars of the superstructure, thus forming a passage that one goes through. That is why the new Zaan Bridge will also be a Dutch lifting bridge of the same typology. This type of bridge complies best with the desire to bring back the familiar old design in a modest way.
We believe the new Zaan Bridge should look familiar but at the same time in its elaboration it should also be a child of this time. The lifting beams for instance are a contemporary reference to the industrial trusses that can be found nearby. The beams that would appear massive if made out of one section are now divided in a compression beam and a slender tensile rod. The composition of the two pillars is layered by placing two steel flanges against a core zone from where the moving mechanism operates, comparable to a Swiss army knife.
In order to keep the superstructure of the bridge within proportion we chose to separate the bicycle lanes and the walkways from the main carriage way and direct them around the two pillars. This way an urban balcony is created that offers splendid views on the Zaan, on Wormer and on Wormerveer. The voids between both decks provide space and light under the bridge. To prevent visual cluttering under the bridge the bridge spans across the Zaan in 4 leaps of 20 meters. This way a clear and unobstructed view is created under the bridge; a necessity for ship navigation and an enormous improvement compared to the current situation
Facts & numbers
|Client||Province of Noord-Holland|
||Wormer & Wormerveer
||2010 - 2015
|Expertise||Architecture, Urban Planning
|Team||Joris Smits, Sven Spierings, Rafail Gkaidatzis