Amsterdam Pedestrian Bridge

International design competition

Date 2012
Client AC_CA Architectural Competitions
Value n.a.
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands

international projects landscaping urban regeneration

Credits AP Valletta

Proud and austere, the well-proportioned façade of the former Amstelhof faces one of the longer uninterrupted water paths in Amsterdam. However, there is weak pedestrian accessibility. The entrance to Hermitage Amsterdam is hardly recognisable from the canal side, leading through a former service access into the beautiful inner courtyard of the museum.

Credits AP

A new approach to the museum and its garden is being proposed, directly connected to the opposite bank of the Amstel, opening up towards the town in a novel way and offering renewed opportunity for interaction. This can be achieved without interrupting the river visually with yet another structure that spans across it. Instead, one can pass gently through it by creating a passage that allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river whilst retaining the historical façade and leaving its context unaffected.

One of the qualities of conventional bridges is the panoramic view they offer from their centre. This should not be missed, but it can take on a totally new dimension. As one crosses the canal, the viewpoint café, emerging from the centre of the river, turns the short stop to admire the view into an experience which can be enjoyed in any weather condition and at any time. This little island is a beacon, a lighthouse, pointing to the Hermitage from afar. It is reached through a passageway beneath the river that connects it to the bridge.

Artist impression. Credits AP Valletta.

The bike workshop is tucked away, its roof a bicycle parking area extending the bank across the Hermitage to form a lookout onto the new landscape in front of the private Six Collection. Around the workshop, steps and ramps stream downwards, extending into the centre of the museum and its garden, providing seating and forming the setting for social gatherings level with the river while shipping flow is left uninterrupted.

All credits
AP Valletta