The new to be developed Industry Bridge is part of the project “De Blauwe As” and is located at the intersection of the Canal and the Industrieweg (“Stadsboulevard”). The location is an important hub within the Assen infrastructure. The node is characterized by both a north-south connection for bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the Stadsboulevard and an east-west connection for nautical traffic on the canal. Both the dynamic location as well as the basic principles set out in the ambition guidelines inspired ZJA to create the design for the Industrial Bridge.

The bridge is part of a series of six bridges located on De Blauwe As. The industry bridge forms the “header” of this series. This has resulted in the bridge being given an expressive form. From afar, the focus is on the bridge, with the playful form creating a landmark object. To create this land­mark, ZJA opted for a drawbridge with a traditional balance, having a slim balance prong and a massive balance box behind the flap.

ZJA chose to create expressiveness and airiness with the design of the bal­ance box. This was achieved by dividing the so-called traditional balance box into four sections. Seen from the canal, the balance appears expres­sive and airy. Seen from the Stadsboulevard, the balance will appear to be more connective and subdued. Subdued in a way that traffic on the Stads­boulevard does not get distracted by the expressive form of the bridge. In contrast to how the bridge is perceived from afar, the focus nearby is on the location. Here, the transition from north to south is accentuated by the bridge railing that acts as a screen, accompanying the different modes of the bridge. On the bridge, the railings become transparent because the bars al­most seem to disappear when one looks at them at right angles. The bridges are designed as slim as possible. The bicycle- and footpath are loaded less heavily. This has enabled ZJA to reduce the dimensions of their deck to the absolute minimum. Because the bicycle- and footpath are positioned on the outside of the bridge, the total bridge will appear slim, extending the experi­ence when seen from the water.

Applying large recesses in the bridge and the abutments furthermore enhances the experience of water. In doing this, the experience of water from the bridge and also the public realm is optimized. The recesses also contribute to illuminating the water, because a lot of daylight can penetrate down to water level.

Awards: Nominated for the European Steel Bridge Awards 2016

Client: Gemeente Assen
Principal: Van Hattum en Blankevoort
Consultants: Royal HaskoningDHV and MEP:Vialis
Year: 2015

Project: #742

Photographs: Eric Bakker Fotografie