Designed by Michael Labory & Bertrand Schippan to be a city landmark, their proposal for the Amsterdam Pedestrian Bridge is made not only for crossing, but for the city’s life. The tulip, symbol of the Netherlands, turns out to be the evident choice for a city like Amsterdam. Its recognizable shape among thousands becomes the landmark that makes Hermitage a unique destination, an address never to be confused, while offering many activities to the inhabitants. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In a city that seems in a constant quest for space to host different activities it would be a pity to miss the wonderful opportunity to create a multifunctional bridge. Depending on the time of the day, the tulip blossoms unfolding its petals in different positions. In the plazza scenario all the petals are flat out as if en révérence to Hermitage. Thus the beauty of natural form enables us to accommodate the maximum pedestrian flow and to optimize the connectivity between the banks. The very heart of the tulip, which becomes crescendo of pedestrian flows, is the best place to stop and enjoy the surroundings in the middle of the river channel, to feel the genuine atmosphere of the country. Here you will discover a whole new vision of the city.
Dutch culture rests on water. Canals are used for skating in winter and for enjoying shade and swimming in summer. We have all seen kids plunging into canals from the Red Bridge in the Borneo neighborhood. However the connection with water is not always visible. For the deck scenario, two main petals that gradually end up in steps join together forming a deck that allows swimmers to get closer to the water. The bridge becomes a sophisticated beach, suitable for sunbathing, among other things.
Culture in all its marvelous forms is an indispensable part of our lives, but there is no denying that philharmonic orchestra has become a recognizable embodiment of its essence. By a slight raising of the petals the tulip acquires optimal shape of a stepped amphitheater that would host free concerts to a public audience. Why not enjoy an outdoor cinema with the Hermitage itself as a screen on warm summer nights? The petals opposite the museum would rise slightly in the same way as for THE THEATER scenario forming a cozy outdoor movie hall.
With all the petals raised except for the one facing Hermitage, the bridge can be used as additional exhibition space. Such “art in the street” concept will engage people passing by in Flemish art and will give the art a new kick-start worldwide. Art may as well become more enjoyable outdoors than in the walls of the museum. In the central part of the tulip there is a bar on the water level which gives perspective view on the river. You won’t find better place to relish a cup of coffee with stroopwafel. Also, the two widest petals connecting the two shores offer large bike parking space.
By changing its color at night, the Tulip disguises itself in the form of city lantern contributing to creation of special atmosphere of Amsterdam. Each color marks a certain event. Thus the Tulip can change its color into orange for Queen’s day, it may be red for Valentine’s day, yellow – to celebrate the beginning of summer, black – to as a sign of national mourning, white – for national celebrations. Natural colors of the tulip reflect the unique atmosphere of the city.