Three outstanding bridge designs have recently been selected as winners in the Amsterdam Iconic Pedestrian Bridge competition. Hosted by [AC-CA], this open international competition called for proposals that would reflect contemporary design tendencies and also take into consideration the "urban insertion and impact geared towards creating a new architectural symbol for an European capital city." The program for the 90m long pedestrian bridge also included a 100 m2-cafe, a 50 m2-bicycle repair space, restrooms, facility rooms, as well as 30 bicycle racks.
At the moment, there are however no plans for this Iconic Pedestrian Bridge to be actually built.
Proposals were evaluated based on five main criteria: intelligent and appropriate use of all design principles; use of space and perceive traffic flow within the space; the design’s aesthetics and originality; the use of sustainable material; and clarity and comprehensibility of the design.
The jury, including Tutard Laetitia (Architect, France), Castillo Desiree (Artist / Photographer, Ecuador), and Yusta Garcia Ferran (Engineer / Architect / Lecturer, Spain), convened over a total of 324 proposals from around the world, and selected the following three winners and seven honorable mentions.
1st Place: Nicolas Montesano, Victor Vila & Boris Hoppek, Spain
From the jury report: "The winning project was able to combine an iconic proposal with a real urban solution. A circuit bringing us to the heights or depths, a partially submerged Ring on an extraordinary equilibrium. It swims and at the same time threatens to fly.
It is a solution that engages the user to ponder on the decision of which path to choose: the underwater for a romantic and exploring passage or aerial for a bright and direct path - Ring of pedestrian and environmental activity.
This project suggested and boldly developed an architectural concept of passage in a unique location - creating and directing the passage above and below with such fluidity. This project can be summarized with the words "passage" and "discovery". Brilliantly!"
Second Place: 2:pm architectures (Paul Rolland, Hans Lefevre & Matthieu Bergeret), France
From the jury report: "This is a very poetic and minimalist proposal, which in itself could be iconic for that very reason. The drama created by the scene of people walking over the canal elevated this project, reminiscence of the “Moses Bridge”, however a different kind of proposition. The floating principle of the bridge allows for very low impact, with a very high urban effect.
It is an audacious and a fresh take on the phrase “Bridge over water”. The elements of program become concrete anchor points on banks, which gives the lightness of the proposal weight. It challenges the image of the classic bridge in favor of basically walking over water. Projecting itself as an extension of walkway or sidewalks ‐ disappearance of the transition."
Third Place: Velorose + Heyne Tillett Steel (David Rosenberg, Tom Steel, Dominic Weil & Olivia Pearson), United Kingdom
From the jury report: "This project was executed cleverly with light-hearted humor and a rather risky approach. The Jury could not help but appreciated such a fresh and simple proposition capturing all the elements with an undertone of good and responsible citizenship.
The proposal is a rather organic and flexible bridge that grows and shrinks with time, need, weather or specific event. It is the activity over the water that creates the passage - a slow-living organic passage. The bridge lives and exists, thanks to the way the users approach and use the space, through the identity or activity that is going on around it.
This is not just a bridge but, in itself, constitutes a neighbourhood, a place or space constantly changing to meet the needs of daily life in the city.
A cleverly executed, graphically presented and dynamic piece of work that essentially found a different way to push beyond the simple idea of "to cross". Bravo!"
Check the image gallery below for images of the seven honorable mentions. All images with kind courtesy of [AC-CA].