michael labory + bertrand schippan: iconic pedestrian bridge in amsterdam

From designboom  the time for bridges as urban sculpture seems to have arrived, it would seem to me the use of functional and dynamic objects that are required in urban spaces and public landscapes makes more sense than the simplistic modern abstractions or conglomerations of junk that pass as urban art  in many of our public plazas and spaces.

aerial view

the plazza : in this 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!

the deck : 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.
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.

the theatre : 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. the cinema : 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 theatre scenario forming a cozy outdoor movie hall.

the museum : 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.

inside view

night view


the club : with all the petals raised the closed tulip reveals itself in its full magnificence. the club can become a space to host different activities both
during the day and at night. it can become a meeting point for all the music boats during the celebration of the queen’s day of our beloved queen beatrix.
the bar 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.

bike parking : two widest petals connecting the two shores offer large bike parking space. color festival 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 or marriages or even pink for gay pride. natural colors of the tulip reflect the unique atmosphere of the city.

tribune view

Winners of the Amsterdam Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition

New ways to see what a bridge can  be , in the city of canals, where bridges are part of every day life, in many ways the bridge wether over water or land is an integral part of how we envisage and experience cites- from the heaviness and separation we experience under traditional freeway fly-overs to the feeling of lightness on a steel suspension pedestrian bridge over water- from bustler my own preference is for the 3rd prize from London with its flexibility and references to its historical and future context.

Three outstanding bridge designs have recently been selected as winners in theAmsterdam 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.

1st Place: Nicolas Montesano, Victor Vila & Boris Hoppek, Spain

1st Place: Nicolas Montesano, Victor Vila & Boris Hoppek, Spain

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.

1st Place: Nicolas Montesano, Victor Vila & Boris Hoppek (Spain)

1st Place: Nicolas Montesano, Victor Vila & Boris Hoppek (Spain)

At the moment, there are however no plans for this Iconic Pedestrian Bridge to be actually built.

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.

Second Place: 2:pm architectures (Paul Rolland, Hans Lefevre & Matthieu Bergeret), France

Second Place: 2:pm architectures (Paul Rolland, Hans Lefevre & Matthieu Bergeret), France

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.

Third Place: Velorose + Heyne Tillett Steel (David Rosenberg, Tom Steel, Dominic Weil & Olivia Pearson), United Kingdom

Third Place: Velorose + Heyne Tillett Steel (David Rosenberg, Tom Steel, Dominic Weil & Olivia Pearson), United Kingdom

Starbucks ‘The Bank’ Concept Store in Amsterdam

Can local be blended with a global brand- glocal? Starbucks are trying and without having been there it looks good for us caffeine heads…pity about the real local entrepreneurs  – overtones of the battle between Cosatu and Wallmart in South Africa, local vs global ? From Contemporist

Starbucks Coffee have recently been opening special concept stores in various cities around the world. This week, their latest concept store known as “The Bank” will open in Amsterdam.

Starbucks’s New Coffee Experience ‘Laboratory’ in Amsterdam

In a few days, (March 8), Starbucks will open a new concept store in Amsterdam. With its ‘Slow’ Coffee Theatre, hyper-local design, floating community gathering spaces and  on-site bakery, Starbucks ‘The Bank’ is a glimpse into Starbuck’s vision of the future.

While over the last few years Starbucks has gone to great lengths to reinforce the superlative quality of its coffee and products, under the radar they’ve been re-defining the atmosphere in which we drink it. In Seattle, New York, London, Paris and now Amsterdam, Starbucks has been stealthily unveiling unique, highly individualized and local concept stores across America.

or on Protein alternate views


A City with too many bicycles – Amsterdam’s unique problem

I think those of us from Africa know that this  problem is not likely in African cities?- by Joe Peach of thisbigcity

A City with Too Many Bicycles – Amsterdam’s Unique Problem

As cities all over the world attempt to better integrate the bicycle, Amsterdam acts as an example of a how a city might function should it achieve that goal – and it’s not all good. Bicycle use is so popular in the Dutch capital that abandoned bikes in the city centre are starting to become a problem – an urban challenge almost unique to Amsterdam.

With the average Amsterdammer owning 1.5 bicycles, it’s inevitable that many aren’t being used. In fact, 15% of all bikes parked outside are believed to be unused, with 60% of all unused bicycles parked in the city centre.

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