Hidden highway near Rotterdam
The Blankenburg connection (A24) is a new motorway between the A20 and A15. The road is hidden in a recessed container, dives underneath the Aalkeetpolder through a land tunnel and through a deep tunnel under the river Het Scheur. On the north side, the Blankenburg connection connects to the A20 via a recessed junction. On the south side, the new road connects to the A15 in a junction with a number of new flyovers. Architectural studio ZJA designed the civil works and the service buildings of the Blankenburg Connection.
To integrate the motorway and service buildings
On the north side of the Nieuwe Waterweg and Het Scheur, in the valuable and vulnerable peat meadow landscape of the Aalkeetpolder, the design assignment is to integrate the motorway and service buildings into the landscape as concealed as possible. The northern entrance consists of a recessed open tunnel, flanked by wide reed zones.
The service building of the tunnel was designed by ZJA as a wooden shed on a farmyard surrounded by reeds and ditches. In order to be able to extend the watercourse and reed zone over the tunnel, a specialization in the ceiling construction of the tunnel tube has been designed. The building itself matches in size and scale with that of the existing buildings along the Zuidbuurt. The service building is built in two volumes and clad with grey wooden slats. The slats also serve as an additional safety shell, so that no unwanted property boundaries are required. Maintenance vehicles can be parked inside the building, so no parking spaces are needed outside. The yard is given the same appearance as the farmyards along the Zuidbuurt and is accessed from the Zuidbuurt via a simple concrete polder bridge.
Junction A24 - A15
The junction of the A24 with the A15 is part of the large-scale port landscape of Rotterdam. Here, the A24 may be seen. A flowery, grassy hill that rises almost 25 meters above the surroundings typifies the view here. The flyovers cut into this hill. The hill is transected by a wide pipeline, bridged by viaducts. Two water infiltration zones (wadis) are constructed at the foot of the hill.
The flyovers offer a spectacular view of the port area. The flyovers and viaducts at the junction are constructed with in-situ concrete. This construction method makes it possible to realize a nice continuous, apparently floating deck. The supports consist of single pillars placed symmetrically under the deck with rounded heads. To reinforce the effect of an apparently floating deck, the bridge deck on the outside is rejuvenated and protrudes relative to the pillar. In the design by ZJA the flyovers are provided with edge elements of light gray composite, which continue the line of the rejuvenating bridge deck.
Principal: The Dutch Road and Transport Authority
Client ZJA: BAAK (Ballast Nedam – DEME Group – Macquarie Group)
Landscape architect: BoschSlabbers Landscape architects
Year: 2017 - present