Architectural Vision Coloradoviaduct at Maasvlakte 2


Commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Zwarts & Jansma Architects (ZJA) developed the Architectural Vision for the new Coloradoviaduct at Maasvlakte 2, describing the aesthetic conditions for realization of this viaduct.

The port of Rotterdam is a unique appearance. By its size it has a stunning appearance and a typical industrial character that appeals to economic strength, the international, the maritime, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The location of the Coloradoviaduct, on the Europaweg, is in the heart of the new port, Maasvlakte 2. At this location, the Europaweg offers an attractive panorama with views over the large container ports with on-going large-scale industrial and logistics activity.
Near the end of the Europaweg - there where the road crosses the rail traffic and the external orbit - the road has been elevated to enable a free passage for freight traffic, the objective being to extend the road at elevation, allowing more overpasses.

A web of roads, tracks and high voltage connections characterizes the area and these elements will only increase after the Coloradoviaduct has been completed. The challenge lies in putting down a design that on one hand shows restraint in design, colour and material, but on the other hand constitutes a strong gesture. This approach is partially inspired by the vision for the port of Rotterdam as a whole, as described by West 8 in the target scenario "The face of the port”.

An important element of the design task is how to deal with the existing Terre Armée construction. The existing overpass is constructed by using a Terre Armée wall on the outside. On the 'crosses' of this wall, rectangular surfaces have been applied using white tiles, and so creating a kind of checkerboard pattern.
The railing consists partially of metal grids, which protrude out in front of the wall. A section of the existing viaduct will be adapted to overflow in to the new artwork.

The aim of ZJA is to put down a design that fits the specific characteristics of the landscape. A characteristic work of art, designed with some reluctance to respect the landscape, but nevertheless etched in memory. Made of materials with a rugged and robust character, soberly designed and detailed. Manufacturable, and a minimum need for maintenance.
In this artwork, ZJA emphasizes the abstraction and lack of scale, leaving out all possible frills to arrive at a strong clear image. The artwork can be regarded as an elevated road – which it essentially is - with underpasses only where needed. ZJA chose a great contrast between the outside and the inside of the artwork, with on the outside a finish giving a dark appearance and the inside, the lower deck, wall and ground level finished with a light appearance.

Client: Havenbedrijf Rotterdam

project: 657