Oude Rijn bridge

Valkenburg NH (NL), 2010



A new bicycle and pedestrian bridge will connect two planned developments on either side of the Oude Rijn in Holland. This river once used to define the border of the old Roman Empire. After completion, this bridge in the bend of the river becomes the most conspicuous icon in the area. It will be very visible from all angles, connect two residential areas, two parks and two municipalities to create one bigger, more attractive and better connected area for the inhabitants and passers-by.

The modern appearance of the bridge is a reflection of a period in which technology surrounds us everywhere and in which the virtual world plays an increasingly larger role in an enhanced reality. At the same time this bridge has been designed to relate to the human scale, giving it a personality, the appearance of which calls to mind some animal or a robot that has come to a halt in the middle of the river. The bridge deck hovers over the landscape and barely touches the ground, as if it could walk away tomorrow. But connected with the bridgeheads it also creates an artificial piece of landscape  that continues into the surrounding area.

The situation in the bend of the Oude Rijn makes the bridge an ideal lookout point and a pleasant resting place for cyclists. The addition of seats, the design of which is subsumed into the play of lines of the bridge as whole, also makes the bridge a place to linger. From the sunny seats there is a wide view over the water and the park landscape. The bridge is illuminated by LED lighting. Because the balustrades are largely closed, the bridge deck is evenly lit, while the spillage of light onto the water is avoided. As a result the bridge provides a safely illuminated route at night, leaving nature undisturbed.

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Name: Oude Rijn bridge
Location: Valkenburg, NH (NL)
Program: slow traffic connection
Assignment: competition design
Period: 2010
Status: Completed
Client: Municipality of Katwijk


VenhoevenCS: Ton Venhoeven, Jos-Willem van Oorschot, Maarten Bax
Images: VenhoevenCS