A multi layered crossing

The Prins Bernhard Bridge is geographically and instinctively one of the most important links in the urban tissue of Zaanstad. The bridge is a part of the ring road around Zaanstad. For the visitor coming off the motorway the Prins Bernhard Bridge provides the first visual contact with the river Zaan.

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

For city life, the bridge provides one of the few connections between east and west, between people, neighbourhoods, schools and shops on both sides of the Zaan. In doing so the Prins Bernhard Bridge adds a cultural significance to its functional importance.

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

The dual symbolism of the bridge as a gateway and as an important link has been integrated in the design. The opening system is one of the prominent features of the bridge. This balancing system, with a high and a low counterweight gives the bridge it’s striking appearance. These so called wishbones are framed by two slender steel bridge decks for cyclists and pedestrians. With an elegant arch they skirt over the water and provide an extensive view over the surroundings.

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

The bridge spans not only the river Zaan but also both riverbanks. Whilst the old bridge completely blocked both riverbanks with its abutments, the new bridge design with the extended spans reveals the old pattern of historical developments alongside both riverbanks. The bridge and the banks are connected through stairs and voids. The colour of the bridge is inspired by the typically Dutch wooden houses painted green with white accents; white with a touch of Zaan.

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

Prins Bernhard Bridge | Royal HaskoningDHV

ClientMunicipality of ZaanstadPeriod2001 - 2007
LocationZaanstad, The NetherlandsServicesArchitecture, Urban planning, Project Management
Scope108 meter total length, 36 meter widest point, nautical passage 18 x 4,2 meterTeamJoris Smits, Syb van Breda, René Rijkers, Michael Rijk