Melkwegbridge

Photo, Jeroen Musch

PurmerendLandmarks

Melkwegbridge

Split level Dutch waterway crossing comes across as a mini Spaghetti Junction...

We’ve no idea at what twisted point in history people skinned cats, but to this day we’re reminded that there’s more than one way to do it. There’s more than one way to cross the canal in Purmerend, The Netherlands, as well – on foot or on a bicycle. Hopefully “there’s more than one way to cross a canal” will catch on, much more civilised…

Anyway, Next Architects thought laterally, and vertically, in designing the Melkwegbridge, a way to hop banks of the Nordhollandsch canal. The footbridge section of this Scalextric-esque mini Spaghetti Junction is cannily placed in a direct line with the Melkweg-road, which gives a clear line of sight into the neighbourhood. It’s 12 metres high at its peak, but the legwork required to get up there is well rewarded with some great views. Unless you’re the BMX stunt rider type and fancy bunny hopping your way over the steps (probably frowned upon anyway, we’d imagine) cyclists will be taking the long way around the ground-level, elongated s-bend which has only a couple of speed-controlling corners to negotiate. Rather romantically lit at night, in a futuristic kind of way, and enjoying a fantastic symmetry with its own reflection, this is by far our favourite bridge in North Holland.

Melkwegbridge, Purmerend

Photo, NEXT architects

Melkwegbridge, Purmerend

Photo, NEXT architects

Melkwegbridge, Purmerend

Photo, Andras Schuh

Melkwegbridge, Purmerend

Photo, Andras Schuh

Melkwegbridge, Purmerend

Photo, NEXT architects

Melkwegbridge, Purmerend

Photo, Jeroen Musch

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