January 16, 2021

Sailing from Rotterdam to Amsterdam (time-lapse video)

Filed under: Architecture,Film,History,Nature,Photography by Branko Collin @ 4:22 pm

In 2013 Shell had to transport an eight-story metal building from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.

They hired a company called The Timewriters to create a time-lapse video of the transport, which has now been released in glorious 4K format on YouTube, accompanied by a beautiful, if somewhat ill-fitting Dvořák piece.

The day-long journey begins on the Nieuwe Maas river near the Feijenoord neighbourhood in Rotterdam, then goes past Gouda, Alphen aan de Rijn and Schiphol Airport to end in Amsterdam. If it hadn’t been dark by then, you might even have been able to see my house at 9:14.

This is worth watching for the bridges alone.

And then you come back a second time for the places you know and a third time to figure out how and why the Dutch created their environment the way they did.

Also check out the comments on YouTube, lots of insights from people who recognise certain types of trains, planes and places.

(Source: YouTube / The Timewriters)

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July 23, 2020

Dutch building biggest bike bridge in Europe

Filed under: Architecture,Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 4:45 pm

The Blauwe loper (‘Blue carpet’) is a 800-metre-long bike bridge that will connect Winschoten to Blauwestad (‘Blue City’, a new village being built on reclaimed land) Groningen, making it Europe’s longest bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. It might also end up being a whole kilometre long if they connect it to the middle of the new town, and should be completed in late 2020.

It will be painted ‘bat-friendly’ green, with LED lighting designed to help the bats commute from the nearby nature reserve to the Oldambtmeer (‘Oldambt lake’). The bridge has been designed to last for at least 80 years and is made from wood sourced from Gabon, Africa. The wood has some sort of venting system rather than being pressed together, explains project leader Reinder Lanting.

Europe’s current longest bike bridge is 756 metres long and is located in Sölvesborg, Sweden, extending across the Sölvesborg Bay. However, the Xiamen Bicycle Skyway in China, designed by the Danish design firm Dissing + Weitling, is a whopping 7.6km long.

Although there’s not always something to see, there’s a webcam link if you like to watch Dutch motorway traffic when there’s no bridge construction.

(Link: theguardian.com, Photo blauwestad.nl)

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January 31, 2016

Bicycle tunnel built in a single weekend in Utrecht

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 11:49 pm

bike-tunnel-utrechtThe Netherlands is known for taking better care of its cyclists than other countries, but this may be taking the cake.

The sign at the beginning of the video says it all: “Spinoza Bridge closed from 2 May 9 p.m. to 4 May 11 p.m.” Two days in 2014. That is how little time it took the city of Utrecht to tear apart the bridge, put tunnel parts in the gap and repair the bridge. And all this for cyclists.

The city then took 12 more months to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, which included placing tile murals by Louise Hessel. Why the tunnel had to be built so quickly is unknown, but a report from 2009 (PDF) mentions that traffic crossing the bridge would be seriously inconvenienced if the bridge had to be closed. The same report argues vehemently against building the tunnel. Apart from the effects on traffic it mentions that the bridge’s counterweight room would ‘conflict with’ the tunnel and that the costs of alternative solutions would be humongous.

In 2015 the city started its campaign Utrecht Fietst (Utrecht Cycles) and (the run up to) this campaign may have created the funds and the political will to improve the cycling situation around the Spinoza Bridge after all. Alderman Lot van Hooijdonk opened the tunnel on 28 November 2014.

A more recent cycling development in Utrecht is that the city has closed a lot of bike paths to mopeds, which aren’t allowed to go faster than 25 kph, but reach much higher speeds in practice.

See also: The city of Utrecht received 5,000 answers when it asked which traffic lights should go

(Illustration: crop of the video, link: Mark Wagenbuur)

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June 30, 2014

Futuristic bicycle bridge connects city to nature

Filed under: Architecture,Nature by Branko Collin @ 8:36 am


The A15 motorway south of Rotterdam is not a nice road to cross if you are a pedestrian or cyclist. Eight lanes of terrifying motorized menace are bordered by a double railway on one side and another road on the other.

To help you escape the city without having to play a game of human Frogger, this bridge, which appears to have come straight from the set of a science fiction film, was built earlier this month. All 190 metres of it connect the city of Rotterdam to the nature preserve of Rhoon.

The bridge, called ‘De Groene Verbinding’ (‘The Green Connection’) was designed by Marc Verheijen, an architect employed by the public works department of Rotterdam. If you want more photos and information, Mark Wagenbuur has an extensive write-up including pictures and videos.

The photo above comes from the Province of South Holland who have also dedicated a page to the bridge.

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September 22, 2013

‘Underwater’ bridge for bicycles in Haarlem

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 3:24 pm

The city of Haarlem wanted to create a safer situation where a main road crossed another main road coming off a bridge.

For some reason all practical solutions turned out impossible (more likely someone couldn’t be bothered) so the city opted for a work-around, albeit a well designed one. They built a bicycle bridge that wraps around the underside of the other bridge and then partially submerged the bicycle bridge. The result is either a submerged bridge or an open air tunnel, your pick.

The bridge was designed by IPV who seem to be specializing in these sort of crazy work-arounds—check their bicycle roundabout hovering above Eindhoven.

Mark Wagenbuur, the bicycle vlogger, visited Haarlem and shot one of his trademark videos there.

(Photo: ipv Delft)

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November 24, 2012

Murals by Booyabase in Zwolle

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:16 am

Painters Remko Koopman and Tamme de Boer, who cooperate under the name Booyabase, painted murals on four walls of a bridge in Zwolle in 2008, and last week they started on two new walls.

Trendbeheer’s Niels Post went to take a look and a lot of photos. He’s even got a couple of pics of the work in progress, even though that work in progress was halted due to “leaking porous asphalt”.

(Photo by Trendbeheer/NP, some rights reserved)

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October 20, 2012

Pedestrian bridge is 12 metres high in Purmerend

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 12:29 pm

The Milky Way Bridge (Melkwegbrug) in Purmerend connects the Weidevenne neighbourhood with the historic city centre.

It cost 6 million euro to build, and was designed by Next Architects and built by Ingenieurs Bureau Amsterdam.

The arch is 12 metres high and the bridge has 130 steps. The idea behind making the bridge this way is that the architects did not just want it to be a bit of infrastructure, but also a place where people want to be.

A second bridge runs underneath for bicycles and wheelchairs. This second bridge can be opened to let boats pass.

(Link: Bright. Photo: Next Architects.)

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July 1, 2012

Floating bicycle roundabout in Eindhoven

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 6:50 pm

The city of Eindhoven wanted to change the roundabout at the Noordbrabantse laan back to a regular intersection, but figured that this would be too dangerous for bicyclists. Their novel approach? To keep the roundabout for bicyclists, but shift it a couple of metres up into the air.

The engineers of ipv Delft designed a bridge that hangs off a giant pylon in the middle. The pylon is 70 metres high, and 24 cables support the bridge. A concrete nubbin appears to protect the pylon from adventurous heavy goods vehicles.

This video by Omroep Brabant shows what the bridge looks like from above:

The bridge was opened for the first time 3 weeks ago, but closed down again when it turned out that the wind caused the cables to vibrate dangerously. Since then dampeners have been installed that should fix the problem.

Eindhoven could have opted for bicycle tunnels instead of a bridge, but the city felt tunnels lack ‘social safety’, which Fietsberaad describes as “the extent to which (in this case) bicyclists feel free of threat or confrontation with violence”. (In other words, tunnels are dark and may be full of bad guys.)

(Link: Bright. Photo: ipv Delft. Video: Youtube/Omroep Brabant. More photos at Wegenforum)

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February 13, 2012

Gliding along Amsterdam’s frozen canals

Filed under: Film by Branko Collin @ 6:34 pm

Somebody called Typevideos posted this beautiful little film of the citizens of Amsterdam enjoying the frozen canals on their skates on YouTube:

See also: Dutch Winter (video).

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December 31, 2011

Crowd sourcing a bridge in Rotterdam

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 12:53 pm

The Pop-up City writes:

The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) and Rotterdam-based architecture firm ZUS have launched the project I Make Rotterdam, a spectacular temporary pedestrian bridge between the city’s Central and the North districts that will be financed through crowd-funding.

The bridge, which should be completed during the 5th International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam this Spring, has to help pedestrians to get from Rotterdam’s Central Station to some of the biennale’s locations. But how long this new pedestrian bridge is going to be depends completely on the amount of money that crowd wants to spend on it.

A plank will set you back 30 euro, an element (5 planks) 150 euro, and a part (9 elements?) 1500 euro. The Pop-Up City has some good advice for the organizers: “translate the website to English in order to open up the project for foreign money. Isn’t this an International Architecture Biennale?” I would like to add that listing prices to consumers without including sales tax is punishable with a fine of the third category.

See also: How to improve Rotterdam in 100 steps.

(Source illustration: I Make Rotterdam)

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